Jerry L. Johnson (’94)

Category: Alumni Professional Achievement | Awards

2021 Alumni Professional Achievement Award Winner

A skilled public policy professional, Jerry Johnson has served in numerous roles where he has had a significant impact on US domestic and foreign policy.

Johnson earned his BS in chemical engineering from UT, followed by his MBA from Harvard Business School. But perhaps most impressive is how he secured the most prestigious public service fellowship in the United States, serving as White House special assistant to the secretary of defense. Fewer than 20 Fellows are selected annually, and, in this role, Johnson was a part of cabinet-level White House meetings, discussions with foreign dignitaries, and meetings with technology, defense, media, business, and political leaders.

Since 2007, Johnson has been a part of RLJ Partners, where he is vice president and managing director and has executed business service investments of more than $1 billion in enterprise value. He is responsible for leading all aspects of the control buy-out investment process, including managing internal deal teams, executing optimal financing packages, and presenting investment theses and memoranda to the board of directors. Throughout his firm and among those who have had the privilege to work with him, Johnson has become known for his business practices of honor, integrity, and trust.

Though he has found success in Washington, DC, Johnson has remained committed to UT. In the nation’s capital, he has hosted multiple dinners and receptions for the Tickle College of Engineering. In 2019, he served as the college’s keynote speaker for spring commencement. Additionally, he has been a member of the Tickle College of Engineering Board of Advisors.