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About President Johnson

Dr. Robert E. Johnson

Dr. Robert E. Johnson is not just a leader; he's a visionary, an educator, and a catalyst for transformative change. His unwavering commitment to innovation and education has propelled him to the forefront of shaping the future landscape of both business and academia.

As a seasoned leader, Dr. Johnson has not only pioneered Agile methodologies but has revolutionized traditional approaches to business strategies. His multifaceted leadership style emphasizes collaboration, adaptability, and an unyielding pursuit of excellence. Under his guidance, organizations have embraced agility, fostering cultures of innovation and resilience that propel them toward unprecedented success.

Yet Dr. Johnson's impact extends far beyond the boardroom. He's a passionate advocate for integrating Agile principles into educational curricula, recognizing that the future belongs to those who can adapt and innovate. Through his tireless efforts, he empowers future generations with the mindset and skills necessary to thrive in dynamic environments, ensuring that they are not just prepared for the future but poised to shape it.

Dr. Johnson's appointment as the sixth president of Western New England University reflects a lifelong dedication to education and impactful leadership. He was inspired by his uncle and namesake, Robert E. Johnson, who was the associate publisher and executive editor of Jet Magazine, and his father, who provided him with the “Ten Ingredients for a Successful Leader.” As an alumnus of Morehouse College, he is the product of its mission statement, which is to, “develop men with disciplined minds who will lead lives of leadership and service.”

Dr. Johnson charts Western New England University's course into its second century with bold vision and unwavering determination. As the University's sixth president, he brings a wealth of experience and a deep-seated belief in the power of higher education to transform lives. For over 30 years, he has dedicated himself to preparing students for a rapidly evolving future, where adaptability and continuous innovation are keys to success.

In Dr. Johnson's eyes, disruption is not a setback but a springboard for innovation in American higher education. He sees this moment as an unparalleled opportunity to reshape institutions, making them more agile and responsive to the needs of tomorrow's leaders. Drawing inspiration from his own journey as a Morehouse Man and the wisdom of mentors, Dr. Johnson is driven by a profound commitment to service and the empowerment of future generations. His leadership is grounded in the belief that compassion and integrity must guide all endeavors.

Dr. Johnson’s leadership journey is a testament to his versatility and ability to affect change across diverse institutions spanning in size from 2000 to over 18,000 students, from public research universities to private institutions, and Catholic universities to historically Black colleges. He has left an indelible mark by elevating their stature and spearheading social impact goals for endowment. Beyond academia, Dr. Johnson sparks dialogue that ignites economic growth and fosters opportunity in communities.

At Western New England University, Dr. Johnson leads with an unwavering focus on the future. His visionary leadership, coupled with his commitment to the transformative power of education, inspires students to embrace change and seize opportunities. With Dr. Johnson at the helm, the University is not just preparing students for tomorrow—it's shaping the leaders who will define it.

In addition to his role as president of Western New England University, Dr. Johnson actively contributes to national and regional organizations, serving on the Council on Competitiveness, the Massachusetts Business Roundtable, and other distinguished boards and committees. His leadership has left an indelible mark on higher education, making him not only an African American leader but also the youngest person performing major senior administrative roles in several institutions. Dr. Johnson holds a doctorate in higher education administration, a master's degree in education administration, a bachelor's degree in economics, and a certificate in applied neuroscience. Together with his wife Michelle Jones-Johnson, he nurtures his family of two children, Jasmine and Alex. This distinguished leader's impact extends far beyond his presidency, shaping the future of education and inspiring the next generation of innovators at Western New England University.