Embry-Riddle President Retires After Nearly 12 Years of Service

After more than a decade of service to the university, Embry-Riddle President and CEO John P. Johnson announced his retirement, effective May 31.

In 2006, Johnson became Embry-Riddle’s fifth university president, after serving as interim president and provost. Under his guidance, the university added dozens of degree programs, as well as the nation’s first doctorate in aviation and first College of Security and Intelligence, and the world’s first commercial space operations degree. (See link to related article below.)

“The Embry-Riddle Board of Trustees is forever grateful and indebted to Dr. Johnson for his contributions to the institution that have resulted in unprecedented growth and established a solid foundation to continue our forward momentum,” says Embry-Riddle Board of Trustees Chairman Mori Hosseini (HonDoc ‘13; ‘78, ‘79, ‘82, DB).

Johnson was named president emeritus, in recognition of his contributions to the university. He will continue to act as a university ambassador and a link to the community. “I consider Embry-Riddle the pinnacle of my 46-year career,” Johnson says. “The love of institution from the faculty, staff and students is unparalleled, and I am confident the solid team of administrators and academic leaders will continue to propel this great university forward.”

Interim President Named

Embry-Riddle’s Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer John R. Watret was named interim president, effective June 1. Watret, who has been with Embry-Riddle since 1989, is a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society and executive committee member of the Global Aerospace Summit Advisory Board. He is also an appointed member of the FAA Aviation Aerospace Workforce Committee and the University of Florida Online Advisory Board.

He holds a Ph.D. and a master’s in mathematics, both from Texas A&M University, and a bachelor’s with honors from Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, Scotland. A professor and pilot, he along with wife Elizabeth and daughter Sophie are long-time residents of Ormond Beach, Fla.