Paula Johnson Will Be the First African American President of Wellesley College

JohnsonPaula A. Johnson was named the fourteenth president of Wellesley College, the highly rated liberal arts educational institution in suburban Boston. When she takes office on July 1, she will be the first African American president of Wellesley College.

Dr. Johnson is a professor at Harvard Medical School and the Harvard School of Public Health. She is the founder and executive director of the Connors Center for Women’s Health and Gender Biology at Boston’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

Debora de Hoyos, chair of the presidential search committee and a Wellesley College trustee, stated, “Even among a superb group of candidates, Dr. Johnson stood out through her record as a scholar and leader, together with her passion for women’s advancement, education, and well-being, the energy and insights she conveyed in our discussions, and her enthusiasm for Wellesley.”

In accepting the appointment, Dr. Johnson said, “It could not be a more exciting time for Wellesley, and the opportunity to help guide Wellesley into the future, building on its mission, vision, and resolve, is one that I find deeply inspiring. I am honored and humbled to be asked to serve as Wellesley’s president, and I view this presidency as the capstone of my career, which has been devoted to the advancement of women through education and faculty development, and by working to improve their health and well-being.”

A native of Brooklyn, New York, Dr. Johnson holds a bachelor’s degree, a medical degree, and a master of public health degree, all from Harvard University.

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