Alumnus Johnson Named Senior VP of Referee Operations for the NBA

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Retired U.S. Army Major General Ronald L. Johnson, MS 1985, was recently named Senior Vice President of Referee Operations for the National Basketball Association (NBA). The recent creation of the Vice President of Referee Operations position, and General Johnson's appointment, officially separates the NBA's referee and basketball operations functions.

General Johnson will oversee all aspects of the league's officiating program, including recruiting, training and development, scheduling, data management and analysis, and work rules enforcement. He will report to Joel Litvin, NBA President, League and Basketball Operations.

"Ron's wealth of leadership and management experience, together with his engineering expertise in areas such as systems analysis, processes, and operations, make him an ideal candidate to lead our officiating program,* said NBA Commissioner David Stern. "Our referees are the best in the world but they never stop striving to improve and Ron has made a career out of getting the very best out of people. We are fortunate to have someone of such extraordinary accomplishment joining our staff."

When asked how he gets the best out of his people, Johnson said he focuses on "the people and the team they can become * then leading becomes easy.*

After completing 32 years of military service as a combat engineer, General Johnson recently retired from the Army. From 2003 to 2004, he oversaw $18 billion of reconstruction in Iraq as Commanding General of the Army Corps of Engineers, Gulf Region Division.

Prior to earning his Master's in Operations Research and Systems Analysis from the H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering at Tech, General Johnson graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point where he holds a Master's in Strategy from the Army's School of Advanced Military Studies. General Johnson is a two-star general and has received executive leadership and national security training at Harvard University, Gallup University, George Washington University, the University of Virginia, and the Center for Creative Leadership. He was an Army War College Fellow at the Joint Center or Political and Economic Studies.

Johnson will relocate from Alexandria, Virginia to work in the NBA's New York headquarters.


  • Workflow Status:Published
  • Created By:Barbara Christopher
  • Created:07/22/2008
  • Modified By:Fletcher Moore
  • Modified:10/07/2016