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CAU President

Ronald A. Johnson, Ph.D.

Ronald A. Johnson, Ph.D., became the fourth President of Clark Atlanta University in July 2015.  Clark Atlanta, a private, historically black university in Atlanta, Ga., was established in 1988 as a result of the consolidation of Atlanta University (founded in 1865) and Clark College (founded in 1869).  The University is affiliated with the United Methodist Church and is the largest of the 37 member United Negro College Fund (UNCF) institutions.

Prior to joining Clark Atlanta University, President Johnson was the dean of the Jesse H. Jones School of Business at Texas Southern University. He also served as dean of the College of Business at Western Carolina University in Cullowhee, North Carolina.  He previously taught and developed innovative curriculum at Florida A&M University in Tallahassee, Florida; Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts; and Howard University in Washington, D.C., as well as Texas Southern University.  He is an accomplished researcher and has developed expertise in the design of learning focused business curriculums. He has co-authored peer reviewed journal articles, including, Integrated System Oriented Student-centric Learning Environment: A Framework for Undergraduate Curriculum, in the Campus-Wide Information Systems Journal, January 2014.  

President Johnson’s leadership is fortified by his executive experience in the world of investment management.  He is the former president and chief investment officer at Smith Graham & Company, where he led a team of traders and investment professionals in raising and managing more than $2 billion in fixed income portfolios for institutional investors. He served as director of fixed income research and senior portfolio manager for Templeton Worldwide Inc., where he raised and managed nearly $3 billion in global fixed income assets.  He also served as chief strategist and chairman of the investment committee for Americas Trust Bank, a Latin American investment bank.  He also has held positions with the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, the International Monetary Fund, and the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System.

President Johnson is an active board member for several civic and educational organizations, including:  the Georgia Research Alliance; the Atlanta Committee for Progress; the Atlanta Regional Council for Higher Education; the Council of Presidents of the Black College Fund of the United Methodist Church; Council of Presidents of the Atlanta University Center Consortium; the Joseph and Evelyn Lowery Institute for Justice and Human Rights; and the AUC Robert W. Woodruff Library of the Atlanta University Center Consortium.  He is a member of the Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity in Houston, Texas, and the former Rhetoricos officer of the Fraternity’s Gamma Upsilon chapter Boulé in Asheville, North Carolina.

Dr. Johnson holds a Ph.D. and M.A. in Economics from Stanford University, and an MBA in Finance and a B.A. in Economics from Adelphi University in New York.  Dr. Johnson is married to Irene Oakley Johnson and has one son, Brandon.

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Inauguration Information



We will Live Stream the October 8, 2016 Inauguration Ceremony.

Please join the Clark Atlanta University Community in "Lifting Every Voice" during our Presidential Inauguration, October 7-9, 2016. We are counting down to an exciting new day.

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