Mr. Francis Johen started off his career in legal background by becoming a law tutor in University Malaya from 1978 until 1980.
He holds a Bachelor of Laws (Hons) from the University of Malaya.
He served as an Assistant Secretary and legal officer respectively in Kuching Municipal Council from 1981 until 1990, before he was appointed as a Senior Legal Officer in the Sarawak State Attorney-General Chambers in 1990.
In 2009, Mr. Francis Johen was appointed as the Deputy Attorney-General for Sarawak for three years until 2011. From January 2012 until 31 August 2013, he served as the Senior Administrative Officer (Legal) at the Ministry of Local Government & Community Development of Sarawak.
Aside from his defining career in legal field, Mr. Francis Johen has been actively engaged with various disability-related organisations since 1976. Among the positions he has held in these organisations were, the Honorary Secretary of Sarawak Cheshire Home in Kuching; Adviser of Sarawak Society of the Disabled; Committee Member of Malaysian Council of Cheshire Homes & Services; Member of Society of Orthopaedically Handicapped Malaysia (POCAM). He was also a member of the National Council for Persons with Disabilities, a state corporation established in 2004 under the Persons with Disabilities Act 2003.
As a people with disabilities himself, Mr. Francis Johen has been actively voicing out the issues concerning the rights and welfare of persons with disabilities in Malaysia through various talks and forums.
Mr. Francis Johen was appointed as a Commissioner of the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia in 2013 and was re-appointed for a second term from 2016 until 2019.