Meet the President
President James R. Johnsen
Dr. Jim Johnsen was appointed to serve as the 14th president of the University of Alaska on July 28, 2015. His most recent experience includes service as an executive with Alaska Communications and previously with Doyon, Limited. President Johnsen also served the University of Alaska between 1996-2008, in several executive roles including vice president of administration and chief of staff.
President Johnsen is passionate about higher education and economic opportunity, having served as chair of the Alaska Commission on Postsecondary Education, vice chair of the Alaska Student Loan Corporation, vice chair of the University of Alaska Foundation, commissioner on the Western Interstate Commission on Higher Education, member of the Alaska State Committee on Research, and member of the Board of Directors of the Alaska State Chamber of Commerce.
As president, he serves as a commissioner on the Denali Commission, is a member of the Alaska Aerospace Corporation board, the UA Foundation Board of Trustees, and the Homeland Security Academic Advisory Council. His education includes a B.A. in politics from the University of California, Santa Cruz, a master’s in political science from the University of Chicago, and a doctorate in higher education management from the University of Pennsylvania.
Dr. Johnsen and his wife, Mary, who is retired, have two grown children, both born and raised in Alaska.