Areas of Practice
  • Tulane University Law School, J.D., 1985, cum laude
  • University of Virginia, B.S. in Commerce, 1982
Bar Admissions
  • District of Columbia, 1991
  • Louisiana, 1985
R. Johnsen
Suite 600
499 S Capitol St SW
Washington, D.C. 20003
202.203.1012 tel
202.203.1013 fax

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A partner in the firm's Government Relations Practice Group and a member of its board of directors, Chris Johnsen received his Bachelor of Science in Commerce from the University of Virginia in 1982, and his juris doctor degree, cum laude, from Tulane University Law School in 1985. He was admitted to practice in Louisiana later that year, and has worked continuously with Jones Walker since completing his law degree.

Since opening the firm's Washington, D.C. office in 1990 and being admitted to the District of Columbia Bar in 1991, Mr. Johnsen has built a strong team of government relations professionals who represent clients in the maritime, energy, and defense industries; numerous institutions of higher learning; and several state and local government entities. He provides his clients with a broad range of government relations assistance, including providing advice on a wide variety of legislative and regulatory matters facing the maritime industry and other business interests. Mr. Johnsen has developed strong relationships with the key committees on Capitol Hill with general jurisdiction over transportation and maritime issues, including the Senate Commerce Committee, the House and Senate Armed Services Committees, and the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, as well as tax writing committees with jurisdiction over maritime tax and trade matters, including the Senate Finance Committee and the House Ways and Means Committee.

Over the years, Mr. Johnsen has been deeply involved in numerous legislative matters affecting the maritime industry, including the Maritime Security Acts of 1996 and 2003, numerous Coast Guard Authorization Acts, the landmark tonnage tax legislation, the repeal of Subpart F shipping income provisions, the Jones Act, the Oil Pollution Act of 1990, the Water Resources Development Act of 2007 (WRDA 2007), and legislation to implement numerous Free Trade Agreements (FTAs). In addition to his work on Capitol Hill, Mr. Johnsen has developed close ties with the principal Federal agencies involved with the promotion and/or regulation of the U.S. maritime industry: the Department of Transportation, the Maritime Administration (MarAd), the United States Coast Guard, the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC), the Export-Import Bank of the United States, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the United States Trade Representative, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Mr. Johnsen is the past President of the Propeller Club of Washington and currently serves as a member of the Executive Committee and the Board of Directors of the Coast Guard Foundation. He also serves as Vice-Chairman of the Board of Directors of the American Maritime Congress, a research and educational organization dedicated to informing the public, the media, and legislators in Washington on the issues and policies affecting the U.S. flag merchant marine and maritime industry. Additionally, he sits on the Advisory Board of the McIntire School of Commerce at the University of Virginia.

In 2017, he received the prestigious President’s award from the Louisiana State Bar Association (LSBA) for his efforts to secure funding in Congress for legal representation of underserved communities in Louisiana.




  • American Bar Association
  • American Maritime Congress (Vice-Chairman, Board of Directors)
  • Coast Guard Foundation (Executive Committee)
  • District of Columbia Bar
  • Louisiana State Bar Association
  • Propeller Club of Washington