Professor Johnson spent several decades as an entrepreneur starting and building national businesses prior to becoming a Chapman University Trustee and Professor. After a wide ranging and intriguing business career he returned to the university campus to receive his undergraduate degree at Chapman and graduate degrees at Claremont Graduate University. Traveling earlier to nearly a 100 countries with his sons over many years created a strong sense of wonder and curiosity about the American Dream and how it came about. These life journeys lead him to study American Politics and the Comparative Politics of the Middle East to try and understand “how things really work”. Although continuing to be deeply involved in philanthropic, political and academic organizations and boards, he continues to research and study The Founders, Congressional Decision Making (yes, an oxymoron) and the extremely volatile history and behavior of the Middle East. His joy is in bringing his subject matter alive in the classroom for his students so that they may genuinely understand and be fascinated by the material being studied. His goal is to “connect the dots” of life and make what initially may seem dusty and irrelevant historical events, very current, exciting and important to his students in the understanding of their world. Having been involved in Presidential, Gubernatorial and Congressional campaigns while building a pharmaceutical business and real estate development portfolio allows for wide ranging and dynamic discussions of political behavior and history in Professor Johnson’s courses. When not traveling, studying or instructing, Professor Johnson can be found performing low level nape of the earth combat flying exercises over the California and Arizona desert in his AStar jet turbine helicopter.
Professor Johnson’s doctoral dissertation was on the efficacy of Congressional Decision Making through looking at the process of legislating American Energy Policy from the Arab Oil Embargo of 1973 forward to today (actually turned out to be interesting and revealing!