Following a comprehensive national search, Lehigh president Alice P. Gast appointed Patricia A. Johnson as Lehigh’s new vice president for finance and administration. Patricia is currently associate vice president of finance and treasurer for Cornell University. She will join the Lehigh University leadership team on January 30, 2014.
Johnson has broad financial and administrative experience, and has held senior positions in higher education and in the private sector. She was appointed to her current position at Cornell in 2007. She joined Cornell in 1995 as assistant treasurer and was named treasurer in 1999. She also served as interim chief investment officer in 2006. In addition, Johnson serves as treasurer for the Cornell Research Foundation and the Cornell Club of New York, and she serves on several boards of corporate and nonprofit organizations in the Ithaca area.
“We are delighted that Patricia is joining Lehigh at such an exciting time for our university,” said President Gast in announcing the appointment. “She is an extremely talented leader with an impressive record of accomplishment. Her expertise in strategy development, financial planning and administrative leadership will be vital to Lehigh at this time.”
During her visits to Lehigh through the search process, Johnson said she was impressed by the energy level of those she met, and with their shared commitment toward improving the university by maximizing opportunities.
“The caliber of the individuals I’ve met was just excellent,” she said. “I am thrilled to be named to this position, and becoming a member of the Lehigh team.”
Johnson will provide leadership, oversight and stewardship for all aspects of the university’s financial resources and serve as a strategic advisor to the president and trustees. She will also work closely with the chief investment officer, key faculty committees, general counsel and vice president for advancement. She will lead a broad range of finance and administrative functions including the budget office, treasurer’s office, facilities and campus planning, business services, human resources and student auxiliary services.
Johnson impressed the administrators, staff, faculty and trustees she met. Her experience, personality and proven ability to meet the challenges of such a critically important role were noted. Search committee members were enthusiastic about Johnson’s appointment.
"We're so fortunate to have Pat join us at Lehigh,” said Ainsley Lamberton, administrative director of the Office of Research and Graduate Programs. “She has a wealth of experience, and I'm confident that she'll have wide-ranging impact on the university community.”
Andrew Ward, associate dean for graduate programs in the College of Business and Economics, noted that Johnson knows “what it takes to be a leading academic institution.
“She has the capability to help lead Lehigh to a new level of financial sophistication to enable us to fulfill our potential as a premier residential research university in the 21st century,” he said. “What’s more, Patricia is also a delightful person, who will work well with all of our constituents and will be a pleasure to collaborate with. I look forward to her joining the Lehigh family.”
Prior to joining Cornell, Johnson served as investment officer for the University of Dayton. She also held positions in internal audit and cash administration for the Mead Corporation, and has banking experience with Wachovia Bank and Bank of America.
Johnson earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology and an M.B.A. with a concentration in finance from the University of Virginia.
President Gast chaired the search committee, which included Ward, Lamberton, Provost Pat Farrell, General Counsel Frank Roth, Associate Vice President for Finance and Treasurer Denise Blew and Chief Investment Officer Peter Gilbert.
Photo courtesy of Cornell University
Story by Linda Harbrecht
Posted on Friday, December 13, 2013