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David Johnston

Senior Legal, Financial and Business Associate

Juris Doctor, Indiana School of Law

David E. Johnston is a lawyer, businessman, and entrepreneur with over thirty years of experience representing and advising a broad range of for-profit and non-profit organizations and their executives, boards of directors, and stakeholders.


David is the Founder and CEO of Hamilton Advisors, LLC (Hamilton), a South Carolina company headquartered in Charleston. Hamilton works with a broad range of private sector, non-profit, and government entities on domestic and international challenges, solutions, and opportunities concerning disaster preparation, mitigation, response, and recovery. In this work, David is focused on the development, implementation, and commercialization of short and long solutions that address the challenges resulting from global warming, sea level rise, and urbanization.


David is also Of Counsel to the Law Office of L.W. Cooper, a Charleston, South Carolina boutique business law firm. Drawing on his extensive experience as a business lawyer, he concentrates on working with entrepreneurs, small businesses and their investors, with a special focus on complex environmental problems and solutions involving resilience and sustainable community development.


David complements his business and legal expertise with extensive domestic and international development and non-profit experience. David has served as Senior Advisor to the American Red Cross Office of Disaster Cycle Services Program Development, Washington, DC and is a member of the Board of Directors of the Palmetto South Carolina Region of the American Red Cross. He was a delegate to post-tsunami Indonesia where he studied and made recommendations concerning disaster preparation, response, and recovery in SE Asia; a participant in Habitat for Humanity’s 2007 Leadership Build Summit in New Orleans; and a representative of Worldwide Shelters, Inc. at the 2010 Haiti Resources for Reconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance Summit. He serves on the Board of Directors and Executive Committee of the South Carolina Aquarium and is Chairman of the Board’s Resilience Task Force.

David is a graduate of Kenyon College, Gambier, OH (1971) and Indiana School of Law-Bloomington, Bloomington, IN (1974).

Profile Summary

  • Legal, policy, and operational matters as they relate to natural hazards

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