Gerald Johnson, the 2021 Black Engineer of the Year, is one of the top executives named to the United Negro College Fund (UNCF) Board of Directors. As executive vice president for global manufacturing at General Motors (GM), Johnson is responsible for more than 94,800 employees representing more than 118 sites on four continents in 13 countries.
He is a member of GM Chairman and CEO Mary Barra’s senior leadership team, and a founding member of GM’s Inclusion Advisory Board. The goal of the board is to improve diversity, equity, and inclusion within GM through words, deeds, and culture; and to help GM become the most inclusive company in the world.
Johnson started at GM in 1980, at the Fisher Body Plant in Euclid, Ohio. He earned a bachelor’s degree in industrial administration from Kettering University and a master’s degree in manufacturing operations from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is on the Kettering University Board of Trustees. He has served as a mentor to many young professionals and played an active role in community organizations, including those focused on developing talent at historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs).
Other corporate and institutional members of the UNCF board are from Booz Allen Hamilton, NetApp, U.S. Bancorp, Peachtree Providence Partners, WPP, Wells Fargo & Co., The Dominion Asset Group, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. ArrowMark Partners, Alaska Air Group, Citi, Chevron, ExxonMobil, Intel Corp, Wal-Mart, Goldman Sachs, KKR and Procter & Gamble.
“UNCF and HBCUs have experienced unprecedented donations and recognition of our important mission during the past two years. Today we take a major step forward to continue that momentum in aggressively growing a Board that will deliver increased leadership, funding, and resources for all our UNCF-member institutions,” said UNCF Board Chairman Milton H. Jones, Jr. in a statement. “We are thrilled to welcome this impressive group of diverse, experienced, and talented corporate leaders to join in our progress as we support our member institutions and the students they serve.”
UNCF was founded in 1944 to help more African American students attend and graduate from college. Since then, the organization has helped to more than double the number of minorities attending college.
UNCF President and CEO Dr. Michael L. Lomax said he applauded Chairman Jones for building an energetic board of corporate leaders to deliver on the funding and resource needs for our schools, ultimately leading toward the establishment of a UNCF Capital Campaign. “We encourage all companies, large and small, to join in this campaign to support the future of Black education,” he said.