Dr. Michael Johnson is the former commissioner of the Alaska Department of Education and Early Development. The department supports the state’s educators in delivering “an excellent education for every student every day” through several core commitments: increasing student success using multiple measures as part of a rich and varied curriculum; supporting responsible and reflective learners; and creating schools that are safe and nourish student wellbeing. Johnson led the department for six years and stepped down in 2022 to return to his alma mater, Columbia International University, as associate dean.

Prior to his work as commissioner, Johnson served in the Copper River School District as superintendent; school principal; district curriculum and staff development director; elementary teacher; and special education program assistant. During his time as principal, Glennallen Elementary was recognized as a Blue Ribbon School by the U.S. Department of Education.

Johnson earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in elementary education from Columbia International University and holds a doctorate of philosophy in education and intercultural studies from the University of Alaska Fairbanks. He is a recipient of the prestigious Milken Educator Award.