Sadhu Aufochs Johnston

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Sadhu Aufochs Johnston was the Chief Environmental Officer of Chicago and Deputy Chief of Staff to Mayor Richard M. Daley, until he was appointed Deputy City Manager of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada in 2009.[1] Johnston previously served as the Executive Director of the Cleveland Green Building Coalition.[2]


Johnston was born in the United Kingdom to a Canadian father and a German Jewish[3] mother who was born in South Africa.[3][4] Johnston lived in many cities around the world with his mother, a psychotherapist, who raised him in communes from India to Colorado.[5][6] His parents were hippies.[3] Although he does not have Indian heritage, he was named Sadhu as a result of his parents' extended stays in India during the 1960s and 1970s where they immersed themselves in alternative spirituality and yoga.[4] He is a dual US and Canadian citizen who spent several summers visiting his father, who worked as a carpenter,[4] and grandmother in Vancouver while growing up.[1]


He graduated from Oberlin College in 1998 where he studied environmental studies.[2]

Chicago period[edit]

Johnston was appointed Chief Environmental Officer and Deputy Chief of Staff of Chicago in July 2005 by Mayor Richard M. Daley.[2]

Vancouver deputy city manager[edit]

On September 1, 2009 Penny Ballem, the unelected city manager of Vancouver, announced that Johnston would be hired as Deputy City Manager to lead the city's environmental efforts.[1] He is scheduled to begin work on November 2, 2009.[4][dated info]


Johnston is married to Manda Aufochs Gillespie,[1] an environmental consultant and writer.[7] The couple was married at the Hollyhock Retreat on Cortes Island, British Columbia.[6] The couple, who met while attending Oberlin College, have a daughter named Zella Rose and two dogs.[3] Gillespie has called the family's eco-life "our religion."[3]


  1. ^ a b c d "Vancouver hires U.S. expert to make city greener", Vancouver Sun, September 1, 2009.
  2. ^ a b c "Speakers and Presenters", Oberlin Website, Accessed September 2, 2009.
  3. ^ a b c d e "The eco-centrics", Chicago Tribune, March 11, 2007.
  4. ^ a b c d "Chicago mayor's whiz kid becomes Gregor Robertson's", Globe and Mail, September 2, 2009.
  5. ^ "Sadhu Johnston; 34 - Chief environmental officer, city of Chicago.", Crain's Chicago Business, November 3, 2008.
  6. ^ a b "The new Deputy City Manager on the greening of Chicago, his middle name, and worms in the basement", Vancouver Magazine, October 13, 2009.
  7. ^ "About the Green Mama", The Green Mama Website, Accessed September 2, 2009.