Former mayor of Rochester to speak

Friday February 7 2014


william johnsonWilliam A. Johnson Jr., a native of Lynchburg and former mayor of Rochester, New York, will speak on The Resilience of the African American Male on Feb. 18 at 7 p.m. in Memorial Ballroom, Hall Campus Center, as part of Black History Month.

Founder and CEO of Strategic Community Intervention LLC, Johnson has been a tenured college professor, the mayor of one of the 100 largest cities in the US, and the CEO of a major nonprofit human services provider.

For 13 years, he was a professor of public policy and political science in Flint, Michigan and Rochester, N.Y. In June 2013, he retired as the Distinguished Professor of Public Policy and Urban Studies at the Rochester Institute of Technology. He taught courses and researched in the areas of urban planning, community economic development, US public policy, and municipal government restructuring.

From 1994 to 2005, he was the elected mayor and chief administrative officer of Rochester, the state’s third largest city. During his tenure, several initiatives in the areas of neighborhood development, citizen engagement, youth services and engagement, community-oriented policing and waterfront development achieved national recognition. Johnson is the first African-American to be elected mayor of any city in upstate New York, and is the first and only African-American to be a candidate for county executive in New York state (2003).

From 1972 to 1993, Johnson served as president and CEO of the Urban League of Rochester. His leadership transformed an agency on the brink of bankruptcy to one of the city’s most influential human service and community planning organizations. He also trained nine staff people who later became CEOs of Urban League affiliates or other agencies.

In 2012, he founded Strategic Community Intervention LLC, and his 14 associates practice in the areas of citizen engagement and community leadership development; government reform and modernization; and strategic repositioning and programmatic redesign.

Johnson is a graduate of Howard University in Washington DC, (B.A., ’65, M.A., ’67), the father of three adult daughters, grandfather of seven, and great-grandfather of two. He has been awarded honorary doctorates by four Rochester-area universities.