Cristopher Johnston

Executive Director, Government Efficiency and Financial Planning
Office of Management and Budget, State of Indiana
Focus Area(s)
Centers of Government
Critical Tasks
Aligning policy and budget
Michael Scharff
Country of Reform
United States
United States
Date of Interview
Thursday, July 19, 2012
Cris Johnston describes his role as Director of the Government Efficiency and Financial Planning Unit in the Office of Management and Budget in Indiana. Johnston’s agency was responsible for a government probe that investigated the effectiveness of over 400 state programs within eighteen months. His team adopted an eighteen-question template created by Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels that asked questions about a program’s purpose, its management, its budget, whether or not it was duplicative of other state efforts, and if it had produced viable results. The unit also established metrics for measuring performance within the different state agencies. Out of the probe’s 200 recommendations, agencies have implemented roughly half.  Furthermore, when Indiana had to enact budget cuts, the unit’s findings were crucial in making agency heads aware of which programs had the most impact and where they should focus their time and money.   Johnston emphasizes that the goal is not to create the best performance measurement system, but to begin implementing changes in state government that will build momentum. 

Full Interview

74 MB
Cristopher Johnston Interview

Cris Johnston attended Wabash College and Butler University, where he received a bachelor’s degree in economics and a master’s degree in business administration, respectively. Upon graduating, he served as chief deputy for the Indiana Treasurer. For 13 years, Johnston worked as a partner at Crowe Chizek and Company LLC. While there, he advised local and state governments in Indiana and Illinois. In 2005, Governor Mitch Daniels of Indiana appointed Johnston to the position of Executive Director of Government Efficiency and Financial Planning within the Office of Management and Budget. 

Job descriptions
internal management
government efficiency
Not specified