Dr. Richard Johnson III
A native of Houston, Dr. Richard A. Johnson III graduated from Furr High School, where he was a star basketball player. Dr. Johnson went on to earn his B.A. in History and Government from Wiley College, Texas’ oldest Historically Black College and University (HBCU), where he was an active member of the Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity. Following graduation, Dr. Johnson entered the United States Army in 1985. Throughout his military career, he received numerous awards and commendations, including the Good Conduct Medal and the Army Achievement Medal. During his service, Dr. Johnson was a member of the Army Basketball Team, who in 1988 won the All Formed Forces Championship.
Dr. Johnson returned to Houston later that year and continued serving full time in the U.S. Army Reserves. He received his M.A. in Clinical Psychology from Texas Southern University, an HBCU, in 1989. Holding 5 licensures in various counseling specialties and driven to improve his community, Dr. Johnson founded the Golden Eagle Leadership Academy in 1991. He was recognized for transforming the lives of over 6,000 young men from urban Harris County in just a decade. Beginning in 1994, he served as the Chief of Staff for two consecutive Houston City Councilmen, representing District B.
Dr. Johnson received his Honorable Discharge at the rank of Field Sergeant E5 from the United States Army in 2003. The following year, he founded Chatawa Management International Inc., which revolutionized recycling practices and procedures in the waste management industry. He served as company President from 2004 to 2006.
For nearly two decades Dr. Johnson has led a group of dedicated and committed christians, from all walks of life, in the efforts to reform the criminal justice system. The Louisiana Prison Chapel Foundation members believe that every person deserves an opportunity to know God, change their lives and become productive citizens in society. Since the inception, the Foundation has built, expanded and renovated over 20 chapels in 15 prisons ( including Angola the largest maximum security prison in the nation), giving inmates sanctuaries, libraries and educational facilities dedicated to the study and worship of God. Through the transformational hand of God, the State of Louisiana has closed four prisons due to a significant increase in student success (Bible College), participation in the church services and a significant decrease in the recidivism rate. Educational and faith-based programs have proven to yield real results in the movement to reform the criminal justice system.
Dr. Johnson then began his Doctoral program in Higher Education at Texas Southern University, where from 2008 to 2010, he served as the Director of the University Urban Academic Village. From 2010 to 2012, he completed his Doctoral internship under Dr. Roderick Paige, former United States Secretary of Education, and Dr. James M. Douglas, former President of Texas Southern University. Upon the completion of his Doctoral internship, he returned to serve as the Director of the University Urban Academic Village at Texas Southern University until 2013.
From 2013 to 2015, Dr. Johnson served as the Director of the Student Success Academy at his alma mater, Wiley College. In 2014, he received his Ph.D. in Higher Education, with a concentration in Education Administration and Foundation. He then went on to serve as the Advising Team Leader for St. Philips College, an HBCU in San Antonio from 2015 to 2016.
In 2016, Dr. Johnson began his service as the Chief of Staff for State Representative Jarvis Johnson of House District 139 in Harris County. In this role, he enabled the passage of notable legislation in important areas such as criminal and juvenile justice, higher and public education, and veteran affairs.
He is a current active member of the National Academic Advising Association, the National Association of Black School Educators, the Texas Association of Black Personnel in Higher Education, the American Psychological Association, the 100 Black Men of America, the Houston Business and Professional Men’s Club, and the Scottish Rite Grand Masonic Lodge. He also currently serves as the Chair for the NAACP’s Higher Education Committee, as well as the President of the Louisiana Prison Chapel Foundation.
Most importantly, Dr. Johnson is the loving father of four children, Richard Andrew, Simone, Lela, and Drew.