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Retired Air Force Lt. Gen. Michelle Johnson, NBA’s Senior VP and Head of Referee Operations, to offer commencement address at York College on May 18

March 05, 2019
Retired Air Force Lt. Gen. Michelle D. Johnson, Senior Vice President and Head of Referee Operations at the National Basketball Association (NBA)

Retired Air Force Lt. Gen. Michelle D. Johnson, Senior Vice President and Head of Referee Operations at the National Basketball Association (NBA), will offer York College’s commencement address on May 18. The ceremony begins at 10:15 a.m. on the campus lawn.

Johnson directs the NBA’s officiating program with responsibility for the recruitment, training, development and evaluation of all referees. She joined the NBA in October 2017 after serving with distinction in various Air Force assignments. Most recently, she spent four years as the Air Force Academy’s 19th superintendent – the first woman to hold the position, which is equivalent to college president. Upon retirement in August, Johnson received the Distinguished Service Medal for exceptionally meritorious service to the government in a duty of great responsibility.

A command pilot with more than 3,600 flight hours, Johnson was the Air Force aide to Presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton from 1992 to 1994. She also served as the Air Force’s Director of Public Affairs (2005-07), the Deputy Director for Information and Cyberspace Policy on the Joint Staff (2007-09), and NATO’s Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations and Intelligence (2011-13), among other positions.

Johnson’s tenure as the Academy’s superintendent marked her latest trailblazing accomplishment. Previously, she was the Air Force’s first female cadet wing commander, first female Rhodes Scholar (1981-83), and first female inductee into the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) Academic All-America Hall of Fame (2007). She is now on the selection committee for the CoSIDA Academic All-America Hall of Fame.

Johnson is a distinguished 1981 graduate of the Air Force Academy. She was a three-time basketball team captain, the second-leading scorer in school history, and the first woman inducted into the Air Force Sports Hall of Fame (inaugural class of 2007). Her career scoring average of 17.6 points per game is the highest in school history.

To learn more about the commencement ceremony, visit our website.

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