Dr. Johnson is the Interim President of Kentucky State University. He is an innovative higher education executive skilled in leading organizations to crystalize their vision and develop strategic pathways and catalytic partnerships that amplify academic, research, and fundraising success and strengthen operating effectiveness and impact. He is motivated by a fundamental belief that higher education is about transforming lives and igniting new possibilities for the betterment of the world.
Dr. Johnson left footprints of significant transformation and the attainment of long-term goals in higher education, portfolio management, and global financial markets based on diverse perspectives drawn from leadership experiences in tailoring and garnering support for long-term solutions that are focused on strategic value creation and risk mitigation.
Dr. Johnson is a RAS Presidential Counsel in the Registry Advisory Service Board Governance and Leadership Practice. The Practice is staffed with a distinguished collection of veteran college, university, and foundation presidents that advise institutional trustees and senior administrative leaders concerning the strategic direction of their institutions.
Dr. Johnson is a co-founder, advisory member, and Chair of the Development Committee of the HBCU Executive Leadership Institute at CAU. The mission of the Institute is to increase the number of qualified candidates for the presidency and cabinet-level positions at HBCUs through a program centered on the development of leadership competencies, mentorship by sitting and former HBCU presidents, and real time practice in HBCU working environments. He is a former member of the President’s Advisory Board of the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges.
Dr. Johnson is the former President of Clark Atlanta University (CAU), where he led the development and implementation of transformational academic, financial, competitive positioning, organizational, and operating strategies that resulted in significant improvements in enrollment, first-time undergraduate student retention, six-year graduation rates, and key financial performance indicators. Prior to his presidential leadership at CAU, Dr. Johnson served as business school dean at Texas Southern University (TSU) and Western Carolina University (WCU).
Dr. Johnson led curricular and pedagogical reform at CAU including the introduction of micro credentials, technology enhanced learning, market driven academic programs, and program innovation. He has co-authored journal articles in the field of curriculum design including, “Integrated System Oriented Student-centric Learning Environment: A Framework for Undergraduate Curriculum,” in Campus-Wide Information Systems Journal, January 2014. He is known for his demonstrated commitment to amplifying student success and shared governance.
Dr. Johnson led the successful development of new strategic plans for CAU and for the business schools at TSU and WCU. He also led CAU in the reaffirmation of its accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) and led the successful continuance of the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) accreditation for the business schools at TSU and WCU.
Dr. Johnson has served on numerous boards in higher education including the Board of Directors and Member of the Finance and Audit, Investment, and Strategy Committees of the United Negro College Fund, the Board of the Georgia Independent College Association, the Atlanta Regional Council for Higher Education, the Georgia Research Alliance, and the Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Atlanta University Center Robert W. Woodruff Library.
Dr. Johnson is a recognized civic and community leader, he is a member of the Impact Investing Committee of the Board of the Community Foundation of Sarasota County, is a member of the board of The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art Foundation, Inc., serves as an expert reviewer for Lever for Change, a MacArthur Foundation affiliate, and is a regular panelist at the annual HOPE Global Forums focused on innovative strategies to address disparities in education, employment, and access to credit. He is the former Chairman of the Consumer Advisory Board of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau of the United States, a former member of the Atlanta Committee for Progress, and a former member of the board of the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce.
Dr. Johnson is steeped in the world of investment management, finance, and economic and financial market policy analysis. He is the former president and chief investment officer at Smith Graham & Company where he managed $3 billion in fixed income portfolios for institutional investors. Prior to Smith Graham, he was the director of global fixed income research and senior portfolio manager for Franklin Templeton, where he managed more than $3 billion in global fixed income assets and served as a member of the Global Strategy team. Dr. Johnson has held economist positions at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, the International Monetary Fund, and the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System.
Dr. Johnson earned a PhD and MA in economics from Stanford University, after completing an MBA in finance and a BA in economics from Adelphi University.