Dr. Johnson


University of Illinois, PhD (Social Psychology/Educational Psychology)

Areas of Interest:

Taught research methodology at graduate level for 15 years. Skilled at casting proposed solutions to social problems into rigorous, scientifically testable paradigms. Scientific evaluation of public policy efforts, particularly in the areas of health care and education, is a continuing interest. Public policy research, the role of science in public policy and social change, and the dissemination of innovations are more general concerns.


Charles Johnson has had a long-term involvement in the area of social problem research and has served as principal investigator on numerous public policy research grants. Under his leadership, the PPRI became one of the nation’s most innovative social research institutions, securing research and service dollars totaling nearly $140 million, and becoming the “go-to” resource for policy research. Dr. Johnson has served on national review panels for Health and Human Services, testified before Congress, and received prominent awards for service and research. He recently served as an expert member on the Planning Committee for the implementation of the Family Preservation Act. This federal Act brought $20 million in new Texas programs for preventing the abuse and neglect of children.

Internationally, Charles Johnson has several important projects with the Doha International Institute for Family Studies and Development in Doha, Qatar. He was an invited speaker at Statistics for Development: A Dialogue between Users and Producers of Statistics Symposium in Doha, Qatar. Under his direction the Global Family Matters Information System (FAMIS), has become an internationally important resource for researchers on the family. The Global FAMIS was formally introduced to the United Nations General Assembly by His Excellency Nassir Al Nasser, President of the UN General Assembly. Subsequently, he was an invited speaker to the UN on four occasions and his research was singled out for praise by Secretary General Ban Ki Moon.


Prior to assuming the Directorship of PPRI, Charles Johnson helped develop a ground-breaking graduate program at Michigan State University, emphasizing “translational research” which applies social science methods to foster positive social change. Subsequently, he was honored with a Concurrent Resolution by the House of Representatives and Senate of the Michigan legislature; the highest honor accorded to a Michigan citizen, and the first time it had been awarded to a university professor.

Charles Johnson was the Texas A&M University’s inaugural Regent’s Professor, which is the highest distinction conferred by the University’s Board of Regents. This award is conferred upon the professor whose life work has had the “greatest impact on the state, the nation and beyond.” Dr. Johnson was also a recent recipient of the Bush Excellence Award for Faculty in Public Service. This career achievement award is made to the scholar who has made the largest contributions in: “transferring scholarship to social benefits, including research that guides national policy and enriches public life”. This esteemed award and accompanying stipend were presented at the annual Consuls Luncheon by George H.W. Bush, forty-first president of the United States. In November, 2008 Charles Johnson was installed as a Doha Fellow by the Doha International Institute (FSD). This eminent international award included a sizable stipend in recognition of Johnson’s research and service. He is also an Adjunct Professor at Texas A&M University-Qatar.