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News Release

Office of News and Information
Johns Hopkins University
901 South Bond Street, Suite 540
Baltimore, Maryland 21231
Phone: 443-287-9960 | Fax: 443-287-9920

July 18, 2007
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Dennis O'Shea
443-287-9960
dro@jhu.edu


Kristina Johnson Named Provost at Johns Hopkins
Duke engineering dean will be first woman in JHU’s No. 2 job

Kristina M. Johnson, dean of Duke University’s Pratt School of Engineering, has been appointed provost and senior vice president of academic affairs at The Johns Hopkins University.

Johnson, an electrical engineer with 40 patents and co-founder of several start-up companies, will take office as the university’s 12th provost on Sept. 1. She will be the first woman to hold Johns Hopkins' second-ranking position.

Kristina M. Johnson
Kristina M. Johnson

“Kristina Johnson is a passionate, visionary, highly accomplished teacher, scholar and academic administrator,” said President William R. Brody, who recommended the appointment to the executive committee of the university’s board of trustees.

“She has a keen appreciation for the extraordinarily important role of the research university in our society,” Brody said. “She has a deeply felt commitment to our role as university administrators: providing an environment where students can flourish and faculty can go about the business of making this a better world.”

Johnson succeeds Steven Knapp, the provost since 1996, who is leaving Johns Hopkins to become president of The George Washington University on Aug. 1. Donald M. Steinwachs, a professor in the Bloomberg School of Public Health, will serve as interim provost until Johnson’s arrival on campus. “I'm very excited,” Johnson said. “To have the opportunity to serve a great university at a broader level is extremely appealing.”

As chief academic officer, the provost is focused in part on promoting faculty quality, Johnson said.

“Any great institution starts with the faculty,” she said. “They attract the students. Along with chairs and deans, they do the great work of the university. My role is to look for opportunities to support and promote our outstanding faculty and staff.”

Johnson said that one of her strengths has been bringing together faculty experts from a wide range of disciplines to attack important problems from different angles. As a faculty member at the University of Colorado, Boulder, she involved engineers, mathematicians, physicists, chemists and even psychologists in working to make computers faster and better connected. As engineering dean at Duke, she helped to set up interdisciplinary efforts in photonics, bioengineering and biologically inspired materials, and energy and the environment.

“If you look at being competitive as a country in the 21st century, the problems are far more complex than in the past,” Johnson said. Advice from economists and policy experts can help avoid scientific advances from getting ahead of society, she said. On the other hand, science and technology have important contributions to make in furthering the study of the arts and humanities.

“What better place to look at this kind of integration than Johns Hopkins?” Johnson said. “It’s critical to the university as a whole that we have great liberal arts, great engineering and great professional schools.” Johnson, 50, graduated from Stanford University in 1981 with both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in electrical engineering. She earned her Ph.D. at Stanford in 1984.

She was on the faculty at Colorado from 1985 to 1999, earning a National Science Foundation Young Investigator Award and winning promotion to professor. From 1993 to 1997, she directed an NSF Engineering Research Center for Optoelectronic Computing Systems run jointly by Colorado and Colorado State.

Since 1999, when she became dean, Duke's Pratt School has undergone significant growth in both size and quality. Of 50 new faculty members recruited during her tenure, 14 have won early career “young investigator” awards. The undergraduate student body has grown 20 percent and strong graduate programs have doubled in size.

Johnson oversaw planning, funding and construction of the 322,000-square-foot Fitzpatrick Center for Interdisciplinary Engineering, Medicine and Applied Sciences. The school's research expenditures have tripled to $60 million and the endowment has grown from $20 million to $200 million.

"Kristina Johnson has been a transformational dean of engineering at Duke and a lively contributor to the larger university community,” said Duke President Richard H. Brodhead. “She is a person of great positive energy that inspires those around her. We'll hate to see her go, but are delighted to see her talents recognized with these new challenges and responsibilities."

Johnson is a fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and the Optical Society of America. In 2003, she was inducted into the Women in Technology International Hall of Fame. In 2004, she won the Achievement Award of the Society of Women Engineers.

With more than 140 published articles, she is best known in research circles for pioneering work in the field of "smart pixel arrays," which has applications in displays, pattern recognition and high resolution sensors, including cameras.

Note: A photograph of Johnson is available. Contact Dennis O'Shea at dro@jhu.edu or 443-287-9960.

Quotes about Provost-Elect Kristina Johnson

William R. Brody, president, The Johns Hopkins University.
“Kristina Johnson is a passionate, visionary, highly accomplished teacher, scholar and academic administrator. She has a keen appreciation for the extraordinarily important role of the research university in our society. She has a deeply felt commitment to our role as university administrators: providing an environment where students can flourish and faculty can go about the business of making this a better world.”

Richard H. Brodhead, president, Duke University.
"Kristina Johnson has been a transformational dean of engineering at Duke and a lively contributor to the larger university community. She is a person of great positive energy that inspires those around her. We'll hate to see her go, but are delighted to see her talents recognized with these new challenges and responsibilities."

Nannerl O. Keohane, president emeritus, Duke University.
"Kristina Johnson is a vigorous and innovative leader; I enjoyed working with her as dean of the Pratt School at Duke, where she made engineering stronger in many ways. I am delighted that she will now become provost at our sister university. She will bring vision, energy and warmth to the job, and I'm sure it will be an excellent match of leader and institution.

Jim Hunt, former governor of North Carolina, who serves with Johnson on the national advisory board of the North Carolina Institute for Emerging Issues and the board of directors of Nortel Networks.
"Kristina is an engineer, so it comes as no surprise that she's skilled at building bridges: bridges between researchers in different fields, bridges between research and business, bridges between the university and the wider community. She's a national resource and leader and she will bring great credit to Johns Hopkins and Maryland as she has to Duke and North Carolina."

Donald Kennedy, president emeritus, Stanford University
“It was obvious from her time as a graduate student here that she was going to be something special. She has simply been outstanding at every level, as a productive scholar and as a stunningly talented academic administrator as well. She and Johns Hopkins will be a wonderful combination.”

Michael J. Klag, dean of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and chair of the provost search committee.
“Kristina Johnson is a visionary leader and effective and articulate advocate for the work of universities. She is a passionate advocate for the role of women in academia and for the integration of the sciences and humanities in universities. She is an accomplished scientist whose work has had real-world impact.”


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