Dr. Johnson was appointed by President Obama to the position of Under Secretary for Energy in 2009. This position has wide responsibilities for the DOE Offices of Fossil Energy, Nuclear Energy, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Electricity Delivery, and Energy Reliability, Environment Management, Civilian Radioactive Waste Management and Legacy Management, and the DOE Laboratories associated with energy technologies. In her statement for appointment before the US Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, Dr. Johnson stated, “By bridging the gap between basic research, development, and commercial deployment, DOE can deliver technologies that will help to improve our everyday lives and enable us to achieve our long-term energy and climate change goals.”
Prior to her appointment, Dr. Johnson was Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs at The Johns Hopkins University. According to the Washington Post, Dr. Johnson was the first woman to hold this position at Johns Hopkins University. She received her B.S. (with distinction), M.S., and Ph.D. in electrical engineering from Stanford University. After a NATO post-doctoral fellowship at Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland, she joined the University of Colorado-Boulder’s faculty in 1985 as an Assistant Professor and was promoted to full Professor in 1994. Previously she served as the dean of Duke University's Pratt School of Engineering, where she helped to set up interdisciplinary efforts in photonics, bioengineering, energy and the environment.
Dr. Johnson was awarded the John Fritz Medal by the American Association of Engineering Societies, which is considered "the highest award in the engineering profession." Previous recipients of the Fritz Medal include Alexander Graham Bell, Thomas Edison, and Orville Wright. In 2010, Dr. Johnson was named the Women of Vision Award Winner by the Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology, and received the ARCS Foundation Eagle Award for her dedication to science and education. Dr. Johnson holds honorary Doctorates in Science from Tufts University (2010) and the University of Alabama at Huntsville (2009).
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