Dr. Ronald A. Johnson

Dr. Ronald A. Johnson earned a B.A. in economics and an MBA in finance from Adelphi University;  he holds a M.A. and Ph.D. in economics from Stanford University. He is a higher education advisor and executive who has led change successfully at both public and private universities. He has expertise in developing pathways that amplify academic, research, and fundraising success, strengthening operating effectiveness and impact, and cultivating catalytic partnerships.

Johnson is the former president of Clark Atlanta University (CAU), where he led the development and implementation of transformational academic, financial, competitive positioning, organizational, and operating strategies that resulted in significant improvements in enrollment, first-time undergraduate student retention, six-year graduation rates, and key financial performance indicators. He is an innovator in curriculum development and led curricular and pedagogical reform at CAU including the introduction of micro credentials, technology enhanced learning, and market driven academic programs and program innovation. He led the successful development of a new strategic plan for CAU and the reaffirmation of its Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges accreditation.

Johnson is a presidential counsel in the Registry Advisory Service Board Governance and Leadership Practice. He is a co-founder, advisory member, and chair of the Development Committee of the HBCU Executive Leadership Institute at CAU. He is a former member of the President’s Advisory Board of the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities and former chairman of the Consumer Advisory Board of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau of the United States.

Johnson is steeped in the world of investment management, finance, and economic and financial market policy analysis.  He is the former president and chief investment officer at Smith Graham & Company where he managed $3 billion in fixed income portfolios for institutional investors.  Prior to Smith Graham, Johnson was the director of global fixed income research and senior portfolio manager for Franklin Templeton, where he managed more than $3 billion in global fixed income assets and served as a member of the Global Strategy team. He has held economist positions at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, the International Monetary Fund, and the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System.