Jim Johnsen

Vice President of Executive Search

Office: 850-650-2277

Cell: 850-867-8911


As vice president of executive search, Jim serves Greenwood Asher & Associates (GA&A) and its clients by developing strong partnerships informed by his distinguished background in, and passion for, leadership in higher education, business, and government.

Prior to joining GA&A, Jim served as a senior fellow at the National Association of System Heads (NASH), lecturer in the School of Management at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, commissioner for the Western Interstate Commission on Higher Education, and Alaska representative to the State Higher Education Executive Officers.

At NASH, Jim co-developed a transformation agenda for public university systems and was the founding director of its Systems Center for State Policy. Jim continues to contribute to scholarship in higher education through his role as affiliate faculty at the University of California Berkeley and as editor of the forthcoming volume Realizing the Promise: The Future of America’s Public University Systems to be published in 2023 by the Johns Hopkins University Press.

Prior to his role at NASH, Jim was president of the University of Alaska system where he led: resolution of a severe budget crisis; creation of an innovative vision for the university as of 2040; setting system level goals and measures tied to the state’s needs; resolution of systemic Title IX issues on the campuses; the first statewide philanthropy campaign; creation of the framework for resolving the university land-grant deficit; and elevation of faculty, staff, and students in system governance. His previous roles include leadership positions at Alaska Communications, Inc.; Doyon, Limited; the University of Alaska; the University of Minnesota; and the State of Alaska.

In addition to his work with GA&A, Jim serves on the advisory boards of the McPherson Eye Research Institute at the University of Wisconsin, Madison and the Executive Doctorate program at the University of Pennsylvania.

Jim obtained an Ed.D. in higher education management from the University of Pennsylvania; an M.A. in political science from the University of Chicago; and a B.A. in politics from the University of California, Santa Cruz.