Dr. Paul Johnson is the 17th President of Colorado School of Mines. Mines is world-renowned for producing highly sought-after scientists and engineers, innovations, and objective analyses, especially in fields relevant to earth, energy, and the environment. Mines enrolls more than 5,900 students and conducts $65 million of research annually for industry and governmental agencies.
Dr. Johnson’s career reflects his strong passion for innovation, education, and student success. He began his career at Shell Development in Houston, TX, developing novel approaches for managing and treating contaminated soil and groundwater sites. He then joined the faculty at Arizona State University to continue this work and share his experiences with students.
While at ASU, he gradually took on senior leadership positions, including Associate Vice President for Research and Dean of the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering. As Dean, he focused on creating a signature student experience, expanded the suite of experiential learning opportunities, and increased peer-to-peer interactions, all of which led to improved retention, persistence, and graduation rates. Throughout this time he continued teaching at least one class per semester, mentored graduate students, led research projects, served as consultant to industry and governments, and was editor for the National Ground Water Association’s journal Ground Water Monitoring and Remediation. He was attracted to the presidency at the Colorado School of Mines because of its focused mission, long history of industry research partnerships, reputation for producing outstanding graduates, and strong alumni affinity.
A chemical engineer by training, Dr. Johnson earned a BS from the University of California- Davis and masters and doctoral degrees from Princeton University. He has been recognized for excellence in teaching and innovation through numerous awards, including the Fair Distinguished Engineering Educator Award from the Water Environment Federation, the Brown and Caldwell Lifetime Achievement Award in Remediation, and the National Ground Water Association’s Keith E. Anderson Award. His most valued recognitions are those received for excellence in education.
Dr. Johnson and his wife Elyse reside in Golden and have two adult children living in Arizona and California.