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Kristina Johnson nominated to be U.S. Under Secretary of Energy

13 March 2009

SPIE Defense, Security, and Sensing

BELLINGHAM, Washington, USA - SPIE Fellow and Provost of Johns Hopkins University, Kristina M. Johnson, will be nominated by President Barack Obama to be Under Secretary of Energy, the White House said on Thursday, March 12. Johnson, 51, has been the chief academic officer at Hopkins since 2007.

Johnson is a Fellow of SPIE and served on the Society's Board of Directors from 2006 to 2008. She is a member of the SPIE Symposia Committee and has also served on the SPIE Publications Committee.

Johnson holds 129 U.S. and foreign patents and is the co-founder of several startup companies. If confirmed by the Senate, Johnson would be responsible for leading administration initiatives in energy efficiency, solar and wind power, geothermal energy, clean car technology and other forms of renewable energy.

SPIE President Maria Yzuel sent congratulations to Johnson on behalf of the Society's board of directors and members, saying "SPIE is very pleased with this well-deserved appointment, optics and photonics play a prominent role in urgent energy issues such as development of solar and other renewable energy sources and of energy efficiency. These technologies, which receive strong support in the Department of Energy budget, are vitally important in these tough times."

As dean of Duke University's Pratt School of Engineering from 1999-2007, she helped set up interdisciplinary efforts in photonics, bioengineering and biologically inspired materials, and energy and the environment.

In a statement sent by email to Johns Hopkins students, faculty and staff on March 12, university president Ronald J. Daniels said, "Although we will miss Kristina's energy and imagination, it is a singular source of pride for Johns Hopkins that she has been called upon to serve the country at such a critical juncture."

Interview with Kristina Johnson conducted by SPIE Congressional Fellow Audrey Ellerbee at SPIE Optics and Photonics 2007.

October 2003 profile of Kristina Johnson (SPIE Newsroom).

Full story from Reuters.

Johns Hopkins press release.

SPIE is the international optics and photonics society founded in 1955 to advance light-based technologies. Serving more than 188,000 constituents from 138 countries, the Society advances emerging technologies through interdisciplinary information exchange, continuing education, publications, patent precedent, and career and professional growth. SPIE annually organizes and sponsors approximately 25 major technical forums, exhibitions, and education programs in North America, Europe, Asia, and the South Pacific, and contributes $1.6 million in scholarships, grants, and other support for research and education around the world. For more information, visit SPIE.org.