The Team

Kairn Johnson, President, and April Ang, Senior Associate.

Kairn Johnson, President, and April Ang, Senior Associate.


Karin Johnston


Karin Carlson Johnston is President of HMS Associates and has worked in and with San Francisco local government and politics for more than 20 years. Karin was a member of Mayor Willie L. Brown, Jr.'s senior staff, holding several positions in his Administration, including the City’s Liaison to the Federal government, the Mayor’s Liaison to the Board of Supervisors, and Legislative Director to the Mayor, overseeing all intergovernmental affairs for the City and County of San Francisco. After working for the City, Karin was a Vice President at a Fortune 500 company specializing in government contracts and procurement. Karin has been with HMS Associates for over 10 years. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree from University of California Santa Barbara and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from the University of Southern California.

Marcia Smolens

Founder and Advisor

H. Marcia Smolens founded HMS Associates in 1977. The firm draws on her decades of producing results for her clients and her long-standing civic leadership in San Francisco.

April Ang

Senior Associate

April Veneracion Ang is a Senior Associate with HMS Associates. April has more than 15 years of experience working in the government and the nonprofit sectors in San Francisco. Prior to joining HMS Associates, April was Senior Aide to San Francisco District Six Supervisor Jane Kim and is known for her policy expertise. Her legislative portfolio included land use and development, urban planning and transportation. Additionally, April was the Executive Director of a San Francisco neighborhood nonprofit. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of California, Riverside, and her Master’s degree in City Planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Elsie Burke


Elsie Burke has been an integral part of HMS Associates for more than 20 years. In her role, Elsie manages client service and communications as well as oversees the firm's daily operations, staffing, and reporting requirements. Elsie graduated from UC Santa Barbara with a degree in Sociology.