Dr. Richard A. Johnson III, Ed.D.
Director, Booker T. Washington Initiative and Senior Fellow for Urban Education
Richard A. Johnson, Ed.D., is the director of the Texas Public Policy Foundation’s Booker T. Washington Initiative, which examines the effects of public policy on African-American communities.
Previously, Johnson served as a chief of staff in both municipal and state governments. As chief of staff for a Houston City Council member, he played a significant role in drafting and navigating policies related to public safety, public works, and housing and community development. During the 85th and 86th Texas Legislatures, he served as a chief of staff and a senior policy analyst for a House member and worked on education, public safety, healthcare, and workforce development legislation.
An educator for more than 20 years, Johnson has extensive experience in teaching and research. He worked as a research assistant at the University of Texas Mental Science Institute, studying the efficacy of counseling and pharmacological therapy on cocaine and heroin addicts. He began counseling inner-city adolescent males and founded an academy for troubled boys which provided education, discipline, and residential substance abuse treatment. In 2007 he began teaching and researching in the areas of psychology and academic performance.
Johnson was the president of the Louisiana Prison Chapel Foundation for nearly two decades, building more than 20 churches inside prison walls. In addition, Johnson served as the co-founder and second president of 100 Black Men Metropolitan Houston, vice president of development for 100 Black Men San Antonio, and co-chair of the education committee of the NAACP, Houston.
Johnson served in the U.S. Army after college, obtaining the rank of sergeant. He was selected to play for the All-Army basketball team.
A Texas native, Johnson has an Ed.D. in education administration and an M.A. in clinical psychology from Texas Southern University. He received a B.A. in history and government from Wiley College.
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