Diabetes care, research and advocacy initiatives led by Nicole

JDRF Mission

Nicole Johnson leads two new areas for JDRF: the psychological impact of life with diabetes and how JDRF is supporting the T1D community through the life journey with type 1 diabetes. This focus includes overseeing Diabetes Psychology Fellowships funded by JDRF, the JDRF Young Adult initiatives including JDRF’s acquisition of the Students With Diabetes organization, JDRF’s Peer Organization Network and intersections with JDRF’s Communications and Community Engagement entities. Nicole spends a great deal of time visiting JDRF chapters and motivating people living with Type 1 to see possibility.

Bringing Science Home

Investigating the connection between chronic disease, family dynamics and optimistic living

Founded in 2010 by Nicole in partnership with University of South Florida and The Patterson Foundation, Bringing Science Home strives to transform and enable people to live optimistically with chronic health conditions by developing new ways of educating, training and caring for them. Through projects like exploring how to help young adults with Type 1 diabetes optimize their daily living and transition through important life stages, Bringing Science Home has become a model program for chronic illness care.

Nicole served as the Executive Director for Bringing Science Home until 2017.

Students With Diabetes

Creating a community and connection point in local communities for young adults with diabetes

Students With Diabetes aims to simplify life for young adults with diabetes. Young adult life presents new situation and experience which can be daunting. Students With Diabetes equips young adults with the tools and information they need to succeed, as well as providing professional and social opportunities to create individual networks.

The dream of the organization began with the Nicole’s diagnosis in 1993. A college student at that time, Nicole was told to drop out of school, give up on her career dreams and live a predictable [boring] life. Nicole founded Students With Diabetes in 2010 as an initiative of Bringing Science Home. In 2015 Students With Diabetes was acquired by the Diabetes Empowerment Foundation and in 2018 Students With Diabetes was given to JDRF.

Diabetes Empowerment Foundation

Empowering people with diabetes to live positive, productive, limitless lives through all stages of life

The Diabetes Empowerment Foundation takes a broad approach to caring for people living with diabetes. Its goal to make sure all people living with diabetes feel valued, empowered, and motivated toward action by :

  • Understanding the diabetes experience from the perspective of all audiences;

  • Utilizing the personal experiences of people living with diabetes to inform us of organizational direction;

  • Showing empathy and understanding for the challenges in the diabetes experience; and

  • Innovating and inspiring new ideas in diabetes.

Nicole serves as the Chairman of the Board for Diabetes Empowerment Foundation


Leadership & Consultancy

Organizations Nicole has been an integral part of as a leader or consultant



Florida Governor’s Diabetes Advisory Council
Florida (CDC) Diabetes Alliance Leadership Council
Diabetes Education and Camping Association
NIH Council of Public Representatives

Public Speaking

An accomplished public speaker on diabetes, determination and dealing with adversity

Since being named Miss America in 1999, Nicole has often given public speeches to communicate messages of aggressive care, informed decision-making, leadership, advocacy and optimism. She has told her story in 12 countries and 47 states, and has lobbied members of the US Congress.

Speech topics can be customized to meet your needs and interests.