Retired Major General Johnson to Address Undergraduate Ceremony

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Retired Major General Ronald L. Johnson, the National Basketball Association's senior vice president for Referee Operations, will deliver the undergraduate address at the Georgia Institute of Technology's 232nd commencement ceremonies.

There are approximately 1,900 undergraduate and graduate students taking part in three ceremonies. The doctoral and master's commencement will be held on Friday, December 12 at 7 p.m. in Alexander Memorial Coliseum. Two undergraduate ceremonies will be held on Saturday, December 13 (9 a.m.) for the Colleges of Architecture, Computing, Management, Sciences and Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts and 2 p.m. for the College of Engineering.

Johnson was named to his current post in July and is responsible for all aspects of the NBA's officiating program, including recruiting, training, development, scheduling, data management and analysis, and work rules enforcement.

Prior to working for the NBA, Johnson served as deputy commanding general and deputy chief of engineers, the second highest-ranking senior engineer staff officer for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. He retired in April 2008 after 32 years of military service.

Johnson's awards and decorations include the Distinguished Service Medal, Bronze Star, Legion of Merit, Army Commendation Medal, Combat Action Badge, Parachutist Badge, Air Assault Badge, Army Staff Identification Badge and the Recruiter Badge. He is also the recipient of the 2003 Black Engineer of the Year Award for Professional Achievement in Government Service, a member of Georgia Tech's Academy of Distinguished Engineering Alumni, and the recipient of the 2008 Black Engineer Lifetime Achievement Award.

After earning a bachelor's degree from the U.S. Military Academy in 1976, Johnson received a Master of Science in Operations Research from Georgia Tech in 1985. A native of Chicago, he currently resides in Manhattan and is the father of 19-year-old son Ian.

William W. George, a renowned member of the Harvard Business School faculty for the past five years and also widely recognized as a corporate leader and a prolific author, will address the Ph.D. and master's ceremony.

George, a 1964 Industrial and Systems Engineering graduate from Georgia Tech, teaches leadership and leadership development along with several executive education programs as a professor of management practice at Harvard University. His research activities have focused on leadership development, and he has worked to develop innovative course offerings on leadership and corporate accountability, authentic leadership development, leading modern corporations, and leadership dilemmas.

During 2002-03, George was professor of leadership and governance at IMD International in Lausanne, Switzerland, and executive-in-residence at Yale University's School of Management.

The author of a new best-selling book on leadership, Finding Your True North: A Personal Guide, George's previous two books-True North: Discover Your Authentic Leadership and Authentic Leadership: Rediscovering the Secrets to Creating Lasting Value-were also best-sellers.

Inducted into the Georgia Tech Engineering Hall of Fame in 2005, George was named a distinguished alumnus of both the College of Engineering and the H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering in 1996. He is a former member of the Georgia Tech Advisory Board.

In addition to his bachelor's degree in industrial engineering from Georgia Tech, George also earned an MBA with high distinction from Harvard University, where he was a Baker Scholar. He has received an honorary Doctorate of Business Administration from Bryant University. George and his wife, Penny, have two sons, Jeffrey and Jonathan.



  • Workflow Status:Published
  • Created By:Matthew Nagel
  • Created:12/10/2008
  • Modified By:Fletcher Moore
  • Modified:10/07/2016