Joseph F. Johnson, Jr., Ph.D.

Executive Director, National Center for Urban School Transformation, San Diego, CA
Nominee:  Mary Catherine Swanson

Dr. Joseph Johnson is the Executive Director of the National Center for Urban School Transformation (NCUST) and the QUALCOMM Professor of Urban Education at San Diego State University. At NCUST, he leads efforts to identify, study, and promote the best practice of high-performing urban schools and districts. As a member of the Education Leadership faculty, he helps develop and teach doctoral and master’s degree programs that prepare leaders to emulate the best practices of leaders in high-performing urban schools and districts. Previously, he served as a classroom teacher in San Diego, as a school district administrator in New Mexico, as a state department official in both Texas and Ohio, as a researcher and technical assistance provider at the Charles A. Dana Center at the University of Texas, and as the Director of Student Achievement and School Accountability at the U.S. Department of Education where he was responsible for directing the federal Title I Program and several related programs.

Dr. Johnson earned a Ph.D. in educational administration from the University of Texas at Austin’s Cooperative Superintendency Program. He earned a Master of Arts in Education from San Diego State University and graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Wisconsin at Oshkosh.

In 1987 Dr. Johnson received the Special Educator of the Year Award from the New Mexico Council for Exceptional Children. In 1989 he was the founding president of the National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth. In 1993 and again in 2000, he received the Educator of the Year Award from the Texas Association of Compensatory Education. In 2003 he received the Distinguished Alumnus of the Year Award from San Diego State University’s College of Education.

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