Kristina M. Johnson

Kristina M. Johnson
Born 1957
St. Louis, Mo, United States
Residence Washington, DC
Nationality American
Fields Optical engineering
Alma mater Stanford University
Known for Advances in optoelectronics, Liquid Crystal electro-optics, 3D imaging
Notable awards International Dennis Gabor Award
John Fritz Medal
National Inventors Hall of Fame
National Academy of Engineering
National Academy of Inventors

Kristina M. Johnson is an American business executive, engineer, academic, and former government official. She has been a leader in the development of optoelectronic processing systems, 3-D imaging, and color-management systems.[1]

Early life and education

Kristina Johnson grew up in Denver, Colorado. She attended Hamilton Junior High School, where she founded the environmental club. At Thomas Jefferson High School, she won two state science competitions and played attack on the boys' lacrosse team. After graduating with her first degree from Stanford University, she aspired to play field hockey at the international level but was diagnosed with Hodgkin's disease and turned to focus on her academics.[2] Dr. Johnson received her B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees in electrical engineering from Stanford University.


Johnson was the Undersecretary for Energy at the United States Department of Energy until she stepped down Nov. 5, 2010. She had previously been the provost and senior vice president for academic affairs at Johns Hopkins University since September 1, 2007.[3] Previously, she had been the dean of the Pratt School of Engineering at Duke University since 1999.

Johnson has also served as director of the National Science Foundation Engineering Research Center for Optoelectronics Computing Systems at the University of Colorado at Boulder. She founded several companies including ColorLink, Inc which was later sold to RealD, responsible for the technology that launched the 3D move industry. Additionally, she co-founded the Colorado Advanced Technology Institute Center of Excellence in Optoelectronics and has been a director of Minerals Technologies Inc., AES Corporation, Nortel and Guidant Corporation.[4] She is currently director at Boston Scientific Corporation,Cisco Systems and AES Corporation. She was confirmed as Under Secretary of Energy for the Obama Administration in 2009.[5]

She is the founder of Enduring Hydro, a hydropower-focused energy firm and consultancy.[6] The firm also has a joint venture with the New York City-based private equity firm I Squared Capital, Cube Hydro Partners, that owns and operates 14 hydropower plants in the United States[7] and announced the purchase of four more in 2016.[8]

A strong proponent of women in leadership, science and engineering, she is passioinate about STEM and STEAM education and creating jobs through small businesses.

Awards and Honors

In 1993 Kristina Johnson was the first woman to be awarded the International Dennis Gabor Award for creativity in modern optics. In 2008, she received the John Fritz Medal, a prestigious award in the engineering profession.[9]

In 2015, Johnson was elected to the National Inventors Hall of Fame for her work developing polarization-control technologies.[1]


  1. 1 2 "Kristina Johnson". National Inventors Hall of Fame. Retrieved 4 February 2015.
  2. News feature from The Villager
  3. "Kristina Johnson Named Provost at Johns Hopkins". Johns Hopkins University. 18 July 2007. Retrieved 4 February 2015.
  4. "Kristina Johnson". Forbes. Retrieved 4 February 2015.
  5. "Senate Confirms DOE Nominees Daniel Poneman, David Sandalow, Kristina Johnson, Steve Koonin, Scott Harris, and Ines Triay". U.S. Department of Energy. 21 May 2009. Retrieved 4 February 2015.
  6. Enduring Hydro Retrieved 14 October 2015. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  7. "Cube Hydro Corporate Website" Check |url= value (help). Cube Hydro Partners.
  8. "Cube Hydro will buy Yadkin River power plants, including High Rock dam, from Alcoa". Salisbury Post. 2016-07-11. Retrieved 2016-07-12.
  9. News release from Johns Hopkins University
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