Sherrel Johnson of El Dorado has been appointed director of the Visiting Speaker Programs at the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service, effective Jan. 9.
“Sherrel’s diverse professional background is a perfect fit for the exciting prospects ahead in the Clinton School,” said Clinton School Dean David Pryor. “With her skills and understanding of the state, and with our commitment to global leadership for the common good, it’s an appointment with unlimited potential.”
Johnson earned a political science degree from Southern Arkansas University, Magnolia, in 1988. In 1989 she established Sherrel Johnson Communications, El Dorado’s first full-service advertising, marketing, and communications firm, which she owned and operated until 1995.
From 2003 through 2005, Johnson helped secure $3.9 million in federal funds toward construction of Union County’s $65 million Ouachita River Alternative Water Supply Project. The project provides an alternative surface water source for three major industrial consumers of groundwater from the threatened underground Sparta aquifer in Union County.
Johnson has served as interim vice chancellor for advancement at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences and as president and chief executive officer of the El Dorado Chamber of Commerce, where she managed project development for the nation’s largest merchant power plant.
She was among Arkansas Business’ Top 100 Women in 1996 and 1997. She serves on the El Dorado Education Foundation Steering Committee, is a Rotary Paul Harris Fellow, served on the Advisory Committee to the 2000 Governor’s Task Force on Water Issues, was the first president of the Golden Triangle Economic Development Council representing four south Arkansas counties, and was the first woman president of the El Dorado Rotary Club. She was named the El Dorado Civitan Citizen of the Year in 2000.
Johnson has served on the South Arkansas Center on Aging Advisory Committee, SAU-President’s Business Advisory Council, Legislative Affairs Committee of the Arkansas Economic Developers, and held board positions with the El Dorado Chamber of Commerce, National Public Radio affiliate KBSA, and Main Street El Dorado. In 2004, she was instrumental in establishing the Allie Johnson Persistence of the Spirit Award and Robert C. Compton Scholarship Funds through the Union County Community Foundation.
She is married to Ben Johnson, Ph.D., associate professor of history at SAU. The Johnsons will maintain residences in El Dorado and North Little Rock.
The Clinton School offers a master of public service degree with a curriculum that includes conflict transformation, communication strategies, principles of global leadership, legal and ethical dimensions of public service, and social change. Students will complete public service field experiences in Arkansas and around the globe and will design and implement an individual public service initiative.
The Clinton School of Public Service is a component of the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville, and the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.