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Hopkins provost named to Obama administration post

President Barack Obama has tapped Johns Hopkins University Provost Kristina M. Johnson to be under secretary in the Department of Energy.

Johnson had been a candidate to succeed recently retired Hopkins President William R. Brody.

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In an email to students, faculty and staff, Hopkins president Ronald J. Daniels said "If confirmed by the Senate as under secretary, Provost Johnson will be responsible for leading administration initiatives aimed at promoting energy efficiency and developing solar and wind power, geothermal energy, clean car technology, and other forms of renewable, green energy."

Here's how the White House described the appointment:

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Kristina M. Johnson, Nominee for Under Secretary of Energy

Kristina M. Johnson is currently the provost and senior vice president for academic affairs of Johns Hopkins University. Previously, Johnson served as the Dean of Duke University's Pratt School of Engineering from 1999-2007 where she helped to set up interdisciplinary efforts in photonics, bioengineering and biologically inspired materials, and energy and the environment. Before that she was on the faculty of the University of Colorado, Boulder from 1985-1999 where she led an NSF Engineering Research Center and involved engineers, mathematicians, physicists, chemists and psychologists in working to make computers faster and better connected. Johnson is an electrical engineer with more than 129 US and foreign patents or patents pending. These inventions include pioneering work on liquid crystal on silicon (LCOS) microdisplays and their integration into demonstration and commercial systems such as heads-up automotive displays (HUD); pattern recognition systems for cancer prescreening, object tracking and document processing; HDTV and 3D projection displays; and 3D holographic memories. She has co-founded several companies and is the author of 142 peer reviewed publications. Johnson has received several awards including the John Fritz Medal, widely considered the highest award in the engineering profession. She earned degrees from Stanford University including a Ph.D. in 1984 and both a bachelor's and a master's degree in electrical engineering in 1981.

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