Sam Johnson represents clients before governmental agencies and in matters stemming from government action. He has developed a reputation for his skill in crisis management and navigating political issues on both sides of the aisle.

Prior to joining Nexsen Pruet, Sam helped lead the office of the Mayor under Mayor Stephen K. Benjamin. In working closely with Columbia, South Carolina’s 36th and current mayor as well as the 76th President of the US Conference of Mayors, Sam was instrumental in coordinating the Mayor's agenda. During Sam's tenure, the City of Columbia saw over $1 billion in economic investment.

Sam was actively involved in leading most of the Mayor’s visible and notable projects, including the Bull Street redevelopment project, a revitalization effort in one of Columbia’s most anticipated emerging neighborhoods, and the Famously Hot New Year Celebration, South Carolina’s largest New Year’s Eve party that regularly draws tens of thousands of partygoers to Columbia’s Main Street.

While Sam has affixed himself as a staple of the South Carolina political landscape, he has developed extensive relationships with elected officials and business leaders across the country. He routinely consults with leaders across the country on the best strategies to move their communities forward and to aide corporations in reaching workable public, private, partnerships.

Along with the work he does asa member of Nexsen Pruet’s Public Policy & Governmental Affairs team, Sam is a Project Specialist for Nexsen Pruet’s communications subsidiary, NP Strategy.

His many experiences, vast network and firsthand knowledge of state and local government position Sam as an invaluable asset to Nexsen Pruet, NP Strategy and their clients.

Community & Professional

Sam is currently a member of: 

  • Harvest Hope Food Bank, Board of Directors
  • Midlands Technical College's Human Resources, Board of Directors
  • Capital City Club, Board of Governors - Executive Committee
  • The Nickelodeon Theatre, Board of Directors
  • South Carolina PASOs, Board of Directors
  • South Carolina Afterschool Alliance, Board of Directors - Chairman
  • My Carolina (USC) Alumni Association, Board of Governors
  • Talented Tenth, Board of Directors
  • South Carolina Philharmonic, Advisory Board
  • South Carolina State Museum Board

Sam has served as:

  • Senior Resources, Board of Directors
  • Columbia Opportunity Resource (COR), Board of Directors
  • Tapp's Arts Center, Board of Directors
  • Richland County Democratic Party, Third Vice Chair

Outside Nexsen Pruet

Sam is actively involved in the Columbia, South Carolina community. He serves on the Board of:

  • South Carolina Afterschool Alliance, Chair
  • The Nickelodeon Theatre, Executive Committee
  • Capital City Club, Executive Committee
  • SC PASOs
  • Senior Resources
  • Midlands Technical College's Human Services
  • My Carolina
  • Talented Tenth
  • South Carolina Philharmonic, Advisory Board
  • American Bar Association's Law Student Division

Currently, during the COVID-19 pandemic, Sam is serving as the Chair of the City of Columbia Peace of Mind Safe Haven Initiative, which raises money for first responders and medical professionals who may need an alternative to going home. He is also serving on the City's Resilient Midlands Economic Recovery task force, which seeks to provide feedback to City Council on how they can foster the best environment for businesses to be successful in this current climate. 

Previously, he served on the on the boards of the American Bar Association's Law Student Division and Columbia Opportunity Resource (COR).

Sam likes to remain active. Along with his wife, Ashley, he enjoys walking and playing with their goldendoodle, Bates, working out, going for runs and watching sports - particularly, his beloved South Carolina Gamecocks. 

Sam is very passionate about his community. He enjoys being engaged and looking for ways to help provide leadership and service.


The Associated Press discussed Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin's prominent role in the 2020 Democratic Presidential Primary in a story written by Meg Kinnard. Meg highlighted Sam's extensive career with Mayor Benjamin. Read the article here.

Following the first debate of the 2020 Democratic Presidential Primary candidates, Politico published an article detailing the debate and issues discussed. Politico spoke to Sam to provide commentary on how the debate will impact the outcome of the early South Carolina primary. Read the article here.

USA Today spoke to Sam for an article discussing Vice President Biden's pathway to success for the South Carolina's presidential primary. Read the article here.

The Post and Courier spoke to Sam for his insight and expertise on the South Carolina capital in their piece Why Millennials Are Finally Choosing Columbia. Read the article here


  • Listed, Columbia Business Monthly, Best & Brightest - 35 & Under, 2018
  • Listed, South Carolina Black Pages, Top 40 Under 40, 2014
  • Listed, The State, Top 20 Under 40, 2013
  • Participant, The Progressive Policy Institute and Columbia University's Richard Paul Richman Center for Business, Law, and Public Policy's Agenda 2016: Reviving U.S. Economic Growth Symposium, 2015
  • Participant, Congressional Black Caucus Institute's Boot Camp, 2011



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