General Ronald L. Johnson Named NBA Senior Vice President, Referee Operations
Posted Jul 1 2008 6:26PM
NEW YORK, July 1, 2008 -- The National Basketball Association has named United States Army Major General Ronald L. Johnson to the newly created position of Senior Vice President, Referee Operations, it was announced today by NBA Commissioner David Stern. General Johnson will be responsible for all aspects of the NBA’s officiating program, including recruiting, training and development, scheduling, data management and analysis, and work rules enforcement. He will report to Joel Litvin, NBA President, League and Basketball Operations.
The appointment of General Johnson to head the league’s officiating program formalizes the separation of the league's referee and basketball operations functions, as previously announced by the league. Stu Jackson will continue as Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations, responsible for all other domestic and international basketball matters, reporting to Litvin. General Johnson, a two-star General, recently retired from active duty as Deputy Commanding General of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers -- the second highest ranking engineer in the Army -- after completing 32 years of military service as a combat engineer. As Commanding General of the Army Corps of Engineers, Gulf Region Division, from 2003 to 2004, he was responsible for overseeing $18 billion of reconstruction in Iraq. He also commanded the 130th Combat Engineer Brigade in Bosnia from 1996 to 1998. General Johnson is a 1976 graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point and holds several advanced degrees, including a Masters in Operations Research and Systems Analysis from Georgia Tech's School of Industrial Engineering and a Masters in Strategy from the Army's School of Advanced Military Studies.
“Ron's wealth of leadership and management experience, together with his engineering expertise in areas such as systems analysis, processes, and operations, make him an ideal candidate to lead our officiating program,” said Stern. “Our referees are the best in the world but they never stop striving to improve and Ron has made a career out of getting the very best out of people. We are fortunate to have someone of such extraordinary accomplishment joining our staff."
"As I leave the military and return to civilian life, I can't imagine a more interesting and challenging position," said Johnson. "Although I don't have a basketball background, other than as a lifelong fan, I am confident that my experience as an Army commander and engineer has equipped me to bring leadership and innovation to the NBA's exceptional officiating program." General Johnson was an Army War College Fellow at the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies and received executive leadership and national security training at Harvard University, Gallup University, George Washington University, the University of Virginia, and the Center for Creative Leadership. Johnson will relocate from Alexandria, Virginia to work in the NBA’s New York headquarters.