About EPA

James H. Johnson, Jr., Ph.D., Director of the National Center for Environmental Research (NCER)

As Director of NCER, Dr. James Johnson continues a life-long career dedicated to sustaining and advancing scientific research and education initiatives supporting environmental protection, quality of life programs and policies, and environmental workforce development. In this role, Dr. Johnson oversees NCER’s role in supporting cutting-edge, high-quality research by the nation’s leading scientists and engineers to improve scientific basis and knowledge for decisions on national environmental issues. He brings more than 40 years of academia and management experience in to EPA’s mission to protect human health and the environment.

Dr. Johnson has served in several National Academies committees and boards, most recently as a member of the Division of Earth and Life Sciences oversight committee. His previous experience with EPA includes a student internship in 1969, chair of the Board of Scientific Counselors, chair of the National Advisory Council for Environmental Policy and Technology, and member of the Science Advisory Board. He is currently a member of the Anne Arundel Community College (MD) Board of Trustees, and is Professor Emeritus of Civil Engineering and Dean Emeritus of the College of Engineering, Architecture and Computer Sciences at Howard University.

Dr. Johnson has authored over 60 scholarly articles, contributed to four books, and co-edited two books. He is a registered professional engineer in the District of Columbia and a diplomate of the American Academy of Environmental Engineers. Dr. Johnson is the 2005 recipient of the National Society of Black Engineers’ Lifetime Achievement Award in Academia and the 2008 Water Environment Federation Gordon Maskew Fair Award.

Dr. Johnson received his Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from Howard University in 1969. In 1970, he earned a Masters of Science from the University of Illinois. He further continued his education and graduated from the University of Delaware in 1982 with a Ph.D. in Applied Sciences. Dr. Johnson’s research interests include the treatment and disposal of hazardous substances, the use of nanomaterials for environmental restoration, the evaluation of environmental policy issues in relation to minorities, and the development of environmental curricula and strategies to increase the pool of underrepresented groups in the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) disciplines