On Monday, the SUNY Board of Trustees announced that Kristina Johnson will serve as the 13th chancellor of SUNY.
Current Chancellor Nancy Zimpher will step down after eight years this July, after she announced her resignation in May 2016, and Johnson has been appointed by the board to serve in the role effective Sept. 5, 2017. She will receive an annual state salary of $560,000, and an interim chancellor will be decided upon and appointed by the board in June.
Johnson received her bachelor’s, master’s and Ph.D. in electrical engineering from Stanford University. She worked as a professor at University of Colorado Boulder, was dean of the Pratt School of Engineering at Duke University and served as provost and senior vice president for academic affairs at Johns Hopkins University.
In addition, she was appointed by former President Barack Obama as undersecretary in the United States Energy Department. Currently, Johnson is founder and chief operating officer of Cube Hydro Partners, LLC, a hydroelectric company that provides clean energy to communities and businesses across the United States.
According to the New York Times, Johnson said she plans on focusing on “environmental sustainability” and “creating an individualized model of education” during her tenure.
“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,” Johnson said in a statement. “I look forward to building on the excellent foundation for SUNY that [Gov. Andrew] 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.”
Following the announcement, Zimpher noted Johnson’s accomplishments, and said that the future of SUNY is “bright” under Johnson’s leadership.
“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,” Zimpher said in a statement.
Cuomo gave Johnson his congratulations and applauded the Board of Trustees for appointing Johnson. He also thanked Zimpher for her contributions during her tenure.
“New York is leading the way in public higher education, and Dr. Johnson will help maintain the upward trajectory of one of the nation’s largest systems of higher education,” Cuomo said in a statement.
Binghamton University President Harvey Stenger also expressed his congratulations and said that the University is looking forward to working with Johnson.
“Everyone at Binghamton University is pleased to learn that the State University Board of Trustees has chosen Kristina Johnson to be the new chancellor,” Stenger said in a statement. “She comes into the job with outstanding qualifications as a recognized leader in academia, industry and politics. She enters SUNY at a time when higher education is undergoing transition, and all of SUNY’s 64 campuses will benefit from her experience and vision. I look forward to welcoming her to our campus.”