Richard Johnson ‘01 is senior director for fuel cycle and verification at the Nuclear Threat Initiative ("NTI"). Previously, he served as the deputy lead coordinator (acting) for Iran Nuclear Implementation at the U.S. Department of State, having also served as assistant coordinator for Iran Nuclear Issues. Prior to working at the Department of State, Johnson was director for nonproliferation at the National Security Council in the Obama Administration.
Johnson held numerous positions at the Department of State, including as special assistant to Secretary Hillary Clinton's special advisor for nonproliferation and arms control and as nonproliferation officer for the Office of Korean Affairs, as well as a posting to the U.S. embassy in Beijing.
Johnson has been involved deeply in Iran and North Korea nuclear issues, including as a member of the U.S. delegations to the JCPOA Joint Commission and the Six-Party Talks. On assignment to the Department of Energy/National Nuclear Security Administration, Johnson was a U.S. nuclear disablement monitor at the Yongbyon nuclear facility in the DPRK.
He also previously served as senior legislative aide and field representative for California Assembly member Carol Liu. He graduated as valedictorian from Claremont McKenna College and later earned his master’s degree at Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. Johnson is a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations and was a Presidential Management Fellow, as well as a one-time Jeopardy champion.
Mr. Johnson's Athenaeum presentation is co-sponsored by the President's Leadership Fund.