Bill Johnson brings a wealth of leadership experience spanning impactful roles in various industry sectors, from a distinguished 26+ year military career, to founding and leading high-tech business ventures, to serving as a Chief Information Officer for a global publicly traded manufacturing company, to a 13-year career serving as a Member of Congress. His commitment to service, strategic vision, and collaborative leadership aligns with the transformative needs of Youngstown State University.


Bill Johnson's tenure in the U.S. Air Force exemplifies his commitment to excellence, marked by his role as Commander of one of the largest communications units in the Air Force to Director of the CIO Staff at U.S. Special Operations Command. He successfully led several large and diverse military organizations and multi-million-dollar information technology programs, demonstrating exceptional leadership strategic planning and information technology expertise.


As an entrepreneur, Johnson co-founded several successful information technology companies, showcasing his visionary executive abilities. His adeptness in business development and leadership led to substantial revenue growth for his own personal business, and advancements in executive-level IT support as a consultant to the U.S. military and as a corporate officer for a publicly traded manufacturing company. Johnson also holds a design patent for an information technology device.

Johnson is the author of the book entitled "Raising Fathers", in which he addresses the importance of fatherhood, and begins confronting thedestructive social and cultural impacts caused by the staggering number of America's children that are being raised in fatherless homes.

Johnson's tenure in Congress spans over 13 years representing Ohio's Sixth Congressional District. He authored over 20 impactful pieces of legislations that were signed into law by presidents of both major political parties, and co-sponsored hundreds of others, showcasing his dedication to work across partisan lines to successfully address issues critical to his constituents, like veterans' services, energy policy, and rural development.


Johnson's leadership approach is characterized by collaboration and transparent communication. His strategic planning skills, honed through diverse leadership roles spanning over 40-years, emphasize the importance of fostering a culture of continuous improvement and collective accountability.

Bill Johnson's interest and dedication to investing in the next generation aligns with the university's focus on securing a sustainable future for YSU, leveraging the institution's strengths in emerging technologies and academic innovation.
Bill Johnson's multifaceted career journey, from the family farm to military service to entrepreneurship and congressional leadership, underscores his readiness to steer Youngstown State University toward a future marked by innovation, academic excellence, student success, and strategic growth. He is committed to an inclusive, people-centric approach and transformative leadership during his presidency at YSU.

Johnson, and his wife LeeAnn, have a son, Nathan, who is an undergraduate at Youngstown State University. Johnson is also the proud parent of three grown children: Joshua, Julie, and Jessica, and is a grandfather of six.

President’s Page at YSU