Clark Atlanta Ushers in a New Era with President Ronald A. Johnson

Last Updated on October 12, 2016

Clark Atlanta University Presidential Inauguration courtesy of Eleven16 Media.
Clark Atlanta University Presidential Inauguration courtesy of Eleven16 Media.
Clark Atlanta University (CAU) officially installed Ronald A. Johnson, Ph.D., as its fourth president before hundreds of students, dignitaries, and guest. The landmark occasion was held Saturday at the Martin Luther King Jr. International Chapel. Johnson assumed this pivotal role at CAU July 1, 2015. He immediately moved to restructure every degree program at CAU to include “stackable credentials” for students to enhance their portfolio and boost their competitiveness in the global workforce.

During his first year as president CAU moved up in rank to 18 in the Top 20 Best HBCU’s by U.S. News & World Report. A native of Brooklyn, N.Y., he married the love of his life, Irene, with whom he has one son. His academic profile is extensive, including a B.A. in economics plus an MBA in finance from Adelphi University. He earned his M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in economics from Stanford University.

“Institutionally, we are heading in the right direction,” said Dr. Johnson, after officially taking the oath of office. “There is much work to be done, and so we ask those who are dissatisfied with the status quo to join the choir. Sing with us a song celebrating the art of the possible, the art of the doable, the gettable and the achievable,” he told the crowd as they clung to his every word.

Prior to taking the helm at CAU, Dr. Johnson was dean of the Texas Southern University Jesse H. Jones School of Business and a full professor of finance since 2011. He also served as dean of Western Carolina University's College of Business in Cullowhee, N.C. In addition, he has taught in multiple business disciplines, including finance and economics at Florida A&M University, Northeastern University, and Howard University.

“In Ronald Johnson, we have identified a scholar of tremendous intellect, a global financier with impeccable credentials, an institution-builder with a demonstrable record of successes, a fundraiser with highly developed strategic acumen and a compassionate role model whose obvious desire to engage and empower students s borne out of his own personal journey,” said CAU Board of Trustees Chairman Alexander B. Cummings Jr., at the time Dr. Johnson was selected.

Beyond his many achievements in academia, Dr. Johnson is a highly sought-after economist. He managed $3 billion in assets as president and chief investment officer at Smith Graham & Company in Houston. Prior to that prestigious role, he oversaw $2 billion in assets as director of global fixed income research and senior portfolio manager at Templeton Worldwide Inc. in Fort Lauderdale. Dr. Johnson also served as division chief of domestic financial markets at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York; and as an economist at the International Monetary Fund, as well as The Federal Reserve System Board of Governors in Washington, D.C.

“We are a university that finds a way or makes one,” Johnson finished. “In the coming year, we intend to broaden and sharpen our efforts.”

Source: Clark Atlanta University

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