President Paul C. Johnson, Ph.D.


Paul C. Johnson is the 17th President of Colorado School of Mines, in Golden, Colorado. Mines is world-renowned for producing highly sought-after scientists and engineers, innovations and objective analyses, especially in fields relevant to earth, energy and the environment. Mines enrolls about 6,000 students, offers nearly 50 degree programs, and conducts more than $60 million of research projects annually for industry and governmental agencies.

Dr. Johnson’s career reflects his strong passion for innovation, education and student success. He began his career at Shell Development in Houston, developing novel approaches for managing and restoring contaminated soil and groundwater sites. He then joined the faculty at Arizona State University to continue this work and share his experiences with students. There, he gradually took on senior leadership positions, including ASU’s associate vice president for research and dean of the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering, which grew from about 6,000 to 19,000 students during his leadership.

He was attracted to the presidency at Colorado School of Mines because of its focused mission, long history of rich industry partnerships, use-inspired research programs, reputation for producing outstanding graduates and strong alumni affinity. Since arriving in Golden, he has challenged the Mines community to create more distinctive learning experiences, increase student success, diversify access to a Mines education, grow thematic-based research communities, expand entrepreneurial activities and to develop a more resilient and sustainable business model for the institution.

Throughout his time in academia and senior leadership, he has continued teaching, mentoring and leading research projects. He serves as consultant to industry and governments and was editor for the National Ground Water Association’s journal Ground Water Monitoring and Remediation for nine years.

A chemical engineer by training, Dr. Johnson earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of California–Davis and master’s and doctoral degrees from Princeton University. He has been recognized for excellence in teaching and innovation through numerous awards, including the Fair Distinguished Engineering Educator Award from the Water Environment Federation, the Brown and Caldwell Lifetime Achievement Award in Remediation, and the National Ground Water Association’s Keith E. Anderson Award. His most valued recognitions are those received for excellence in education.

Dr. Johnson and his wife Elyse reside in Golden and have two adult children living in Arizona and California.

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Contact Us

Phone: 303-273-3280

Guggenheim Hall, third floor

Mailing address:
Office of the President
Colorado School of Mines
1500 Illinois St.
Golden, CO 80401

Guggenheim Hall