A lawyer and a former professional player, Johnson has worked for FIFA, the Asian Football Confederation and Professional Footballers Australia.

Johnson, currently a senior Vice President with the City Football Group in the United Kingdom, is looking forward to returning home.

"Australian football is my first football community - I grew up here; I first watched football here; I've played here, and I built the basis of my football administration career here," he said in a statement on Friday.

Johnson played for the U17 Joeys national team in 1999 and for the Brisbane Strikers Soccer Club before transitioning into the administrative side of the sport.

FFA chairman Chris Nikou says Johnson was the stand-out in a strong field of international and domestic candidates and was clearly the "right person for the role".

"Football is in James' soul. He has demonstrated that he is a collaborative leader and team player and brings global and local experience and networks to the FFA," Nikou said on Friday in a statement.

"He is one of the few leaders in the sport who has spent his playing and executive career within the various stakeholder groups associated with football and in this time of change we think that matters."

Johnson's predecessor Gallop announced he would quit earlier this year, saying the A-League's move to be independent of FFA prompted his decision.

The chief executive for seven years, Gallop said the fresh governance model would fundamentally change the role of FFA, and therefore its management.



City Football Group (CFG), London/Manchester – Present

Senior Vice President External Affairs


Association Football Development Program Global (AFDP), London 2018 Present

Advisory Board Member (non-executive)


FIFA, Zurich December 2015 – December 2018

Head of Professional Football


FIFA, Zurich 2014 – 2015

Senior Manager Member Associations


Asian Football Confederation (AFC), Kuala Lumpur 2011 – 2013

Director of International Relations and Development


Professional Footballers Australia (PFA), FIFPro Asia/Oceania, Melbourne 2009 – 2011

Player Relations Executive


ClarkeKann Lawyers, Brisbane 2008 – 2009

Practiced in the areas of corporate governance, commercial litigation and industrial relations



Member of Australian Youth National Football Teams: Under 17s (1999)

Queensland Academy of Sport, Football (1998-2000)

Former Professional Footballer at Brisbane Strikers Soccer Club, DaNang FC (Vietnam)



Graduate Diploma Legal Practice (2008)

College of Law (Qld)

Juris Doctor (Hons) (2008)

Bond University

Bachelor Management Studies (Finance) (2006)

Boston University