ALBANY – The State University of New York has selected electrical engineer Dr. Kristina Johnson as the 13th chancellor of SUNY, the largest public college system in the United States.
“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.”
Johnson takes over for Chancellor Nancy Zimpher, who will step down from the position in June after an eight-year term. Dr. Johnson’s appointment as chancellor is effective September 5, 2017, at an annual state salary of $560,000. Interim leadership for the period between June and September will be appointed by the SUNY Board of Trustees at its June 21, 2017, meeting.
“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.”
Dr. Johnson received her B.S. with distinction, M.S. and Ph.D. in electrical engineering from Stanford University. She is the current founder and chief executive officer of Cube Hydro Partners, LLC, which develops hydroelectric generation facilities that provide clean energy to communities and businesses throughout the country. She was appointed by President Barack Obama as U.S. Under Secretary of Energy and served as Johns Hopkins University provost and senior vice president for Academic Affairs, dean of the Pratt School of Engineering at Duke University, and professor at the University of Colorado-Boulder.
Throughout her career, Dr. Johnson has been an advocate for women in leadership, advanced STEM and STEAM education, pioneered the creation of jobs through higher education-industry partnerships, established intensive research opportunities for students and faculty, and positioned leading institutions of higher education for greater success through the development of innovative strategic plans.
Dr. Johnson is an inventor and entrepreneur who holds 118 U.S. and international patents. She became a member of the National Academy of Inventors and the National Academy of Engineering in 2016 and was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame, together with Gary Sharp, in 2015, for the development of polarization-control technologies that enabled high quality 3D movies and TV.