SUNY student leadership responds to new chancellor choice

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Dr. Kristina M. Johnson has been elected by the Trustees of the State University of New York to serve as the thirteenth Chancellor of the State University of New York, the largest comprehensive statewide system of public universities and colleges in the nation.

“Kristina Johnson has enjoyed an incredible career as a thinker, an educator, an entrepreneur, and an advocate,” said Marc Cohen, Student Assembly President and SUNY Trustee, as the Trustees prepared to formally confirm Johnson. “Throughout her interview process she made it clear that not only was she interested in listening to stakeholders, but she already knew who they were. She demonstrated time and again an interest in engaging full and true shared governance, including the voices of the most important people in the entire system.”

“On behalf of more than 600,000 students, I am proud to support Kristina Johnson as our next Chancellor. I can think of nobody better to ensure that we remain the absolute best at getting better,” Cohen concluded.

About Chancellor-Elect Kristina M. Johnson
Dr. Johnson currently is chief executive officer of Cube Hydro Partners LLC, a clean energy company she co-founded in 2011. Johnson served as Dean of the Pratt School of Engineering at Duke University and Provost and Senior Vice President at The Johns Hopkins University before her appointment in 2009 to serve as Under Secretary of Energy at the US Department of Energy.

Johnson previously served on the faculty of the Electrical and Computer Engineering department at the University of Colorado Boulder and as Director of the National Science Foundation’s Engineering Research Center for Optoelectronics Computing Systems at Boulder. Johnson holds over one hundred patents in the United States and abroad and was inducted into the National Inventor’s Hall of Fame in 2015. Johnson earned her BS, MS, and PhD in electrical engineering from Stanford University.

Statements from SUNY and Dr. Johnson: 

“Throughout her distinguished career, Kristina Johnson has not only been a faculty member, administrator, and visionary in higher education but also a dedicated public servant, national energy czar, successful entrepreneur, and an acclaimed inventor,” said SUNY Chairman H. Carl McCall. “We are thrilled to welcome her to SUNY, where her range of experience will enable her to leverage the incredible work of our 64 colleges and universities. On behalf of the SUNY Board of Trustees and Search Committee, I want to thank Governor Cuomo, whose commitment to public higher education helped us to attract a top candidate, and Nancy Zimpher, whose leadership of SUNY over the last eight years has raised the profile of this position to an all-time high.”

“Dr. Johnson is a proven leader and innovator whose cross-sector experience and strong belief in the power of education will be a great benefit to The State University of New York,” said SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher. “In academia, she has brought stakeholder groups together to create and implement strategic vision crafted at the hands of many. On the national forefront, she successfully managed and uplifted our country’s most advanced energy research. And as a former faculty member turned entrepreneur, time and again she has bridged the gap between higher education and business to create programs that prepare students for in-demand careers. The future of SUNY is indeed bright under the leadership of Dr. Johnson.”

“The State University of New York is a complex, captivating system like no other in higher education, and the opportunity to serve as its chancellor is the highest honor of my career,” said Dr. Johnson. “I look forward to building on the excellent foundation for SUNY that Governor Cuomo, Chancellor Zimpher, and the Board of Trustees have developed in partnership with SUNY presidents, faculty, staff, and students as well as the communities they serve in every region.”