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, and is a member of the Alaska Aerospace Corporation board and the UA Foundation Board of Trustees. 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.
He is leading a major systemwide Title IX compliance effort, a comprehensive restructuring of the academic programs and administrative services of the university, a major initiative to align with Alaska’s primary and secondary education sectors, and a systemwide push to achieve the state’s goal of higher attainment — 65% by 2025.
Dr. Johnsen and his wife, Mary, who is retired, have two grown children, both born and raised in Alaska.