SUMMARY AND HIGHLIGHTS:This
resume reflects the variety of Johnson's roles as an academic and law professor;
government official and school board member; public interest advocate;
administrator, manager and corporate representative; writer, lecturer,
TV and radio performer; politician; lawyer; and public health, computer
and telecommunications policy specialist.
Johnson, who has travelled widely, currently
teaches law, is a columnist and public lecturer, computer enthusiast, and
fellow of the World Academy of Art and Science. He has formerly, among
many other things, served as co-director of a public health public policy
institute, network TV host, congressional candidate, author of books, articles
and a nationally syndicated column, FCC Commissioner, school board member,
U.S. Maritime Administrator, and law clerk to U.S. Supreme Court Justice
In 2009 he was included in The Yale
Biographical Dictionary of American Law as one of 700 individuals described
by the publisher as "leading figures in the history of Ameican law, from
the colonial era to the present day."
He was born in Iowa City, Iowa, in 1934,
the son of Wendell and Edna Johnson. In 1980 he returned from Washington,
D.C., to Iowa City -- giving rise to the name of his blog, "FromDC2Iowa.blogspot.com."
He and his wife, Mary Vasey, have seven children, five grandchildren, three
great grandchildren, two cats and seven fish.
Visiting Professor, University of Iowa
College of Law (1981-).
For details of current activities,
Reports" (from UI College of Law publication, Iowa
Courses: Cyberspace Law Seminar, Law of
Electronic Media, Sports Law.
AND WRITING EXPERIENCE
University of Iowa Experimental Schools, 1936-1952.
B.A., 1956, LL.B, 1958, University of Texas, Austin. L.H.D., Windham College,
Phi Beta Kappa, Pi Sigma Alpha, Phi Eta
Sigma, Phi Delta Phi, Chancellors, Order of the Coif, Golden Key. Poynter
Fellow, Yale University, 1971.
Distinguished visiting professorships:
University of Wisconsin, Madison, 1980; Syracuse University, 1980; California
State University, Los Angeles, 1986; University of California San Diego
(Regents' Professor), 2000.
Acting associate professor of law, University
of California, Berkeley, 1960-63. Adjunct professor of law, Georgetown
University, Washington, D.C., 1971-73; visiting professor, University of
Illinois Law School, Champaign-Urbana, 1976; University of Oklahoma, Norman,
1978; Illinois State University, Normal, 1979; College of Law, University
of Iowa, 1981-; Department of Communication Studies, University of Iowa,
1982-85; Department of Theater Arts, University of Iowa, 1999; University
of California San Diego, Western Behavioral Sciences Institute, 1986-91.
(And see "Distinguished visiting professorships," above.)
Cases and Materials on Oil and Gas Law
(2 volumes, 1961); How to Talk Back to Your Television Set (1970);
Pattern for Living (1972); Cases and Materials on Communications
Law (4 volumes, 1981-86);
Introductory and Background Readings for
Law of Electronic Media (1993) and Readings Supplement (1994);
of Electronic Media in a Cyberspace Age (with David Loundy; 2 volumes,
1996); articles, notes and book reviews in such law reviews and journals
as California, Columbia, Federal Communications, Georgetown, Iowa, Texas,
UCLA, Virginia and Yale. About 400 separate opinions in volumes 4-43 of
the official Federal Communications Commission Reports (Second Series),
including the book-length
Broadcasting in America (42 FCC 2d 1).
Johnson's books include, How to Talk
Back to Your Television Set, Test Pattern for Living, Your
Second Priority, Are We There Yet, Virtualosity, and
Do You Mean and How Do You Know?.
1970 Newsweek listed Johnson as one of four individuals most
in demand for university presidencies (along with former Secretary of HEW
John Gardner, Attorney General Ramsey Clark and Ford Foundation President
One of Ten Outstanding Young Americans, U.S.
Jaycees, 1967; New Republic Public Defender Award, 1971; Civil Liberties
Award, Georgia Civil Liberties Union, 1972; DeWitt Carter Reddick Award,
University of Texas, 1977; George Stoney Award for Humanistic Communications,
National Federation of Local Cable Programmers, 1987. In 2009 he was included
in The Yale Biographical Dictionary of American Law as one of 700
individuals described by the publisher as "leading figures in the history
of Ameican law, from the colonial era to the present day."
Who in America. Other: Bio-Base (1990); Biography Index
(vols. 8, 9, 10; 1971, 1974, 1977); The Blue Book Leaders of the English-Speaking
World (1976); Brown, Les, The New York Times Encyclopedia of Television
(1977); Burke, W.J. and Howe, Will D., American Authors and Books,
1640 to the Present Day (3rd rev. ed. 1972); Celebrity Register
(3rd ed. 1973); Contemporary Authors (vols. 29-32, 1978); Current
Biography Yearbook (1968); Association of American Law Schools' Directory
of Law Teachers (current);
International Authors and Writers Who's
Who; Les Brown's Encyclopedia of Television (1982); The New
York Times Biographical Edition (1971); Paneth, Donald, The Encyclopedia
of American Journalism (1983); Personalities of America; Syndicated
Syndicated Columnists Directory; University
of Texas Alumni Directory;
University of Texas Law Alumni Association
Alumni Directory; Who's Who in America (see above); Who's
Who in Entertainment; Who's Who in Government (1972); Who's Who
in the Midwest; Who's Who in Society; Who's Who in the South and
Southwest (1973); Who's Who in U.S. Writers, Editors & Poets;
Who in the World (1974; 1976); Who's Who in Writers, Editors &
Poets; The Writers Directory (1976; 1980; 1982; 1984; 1986;
AND MANAGEMENT EXPERIENCE
administrator of billion-dollar Maritime Administration, 1964-66 (other
Maritime-related titles: Chair, Maritime Subsidy Board; Commandant, Kings
Point Maritime Academy; Director, War Shipping Authority; Chair, NATO PBOS).
One of seven Commissioners responsible for Federal Communications Commission,
1966-73. IBM Executives' Computer Concepts Course, 1967. Chair and CEO,
National Citizens Committee for Broadcasting, Washington, D.C., 1974-78,
National Citizens Communications Lobby, 1974-present. Legal representation
of nation's largest steel and cement companies and a major airline, 1963-64
(Covington & Burling, Washington, D.C.). Research, teaching, writing
and lecturing about oil and gas, shipping, ship building, broadcasting,
computers, telephone, Internet and related industries. Lecturing to numerous
corporations and trade associations. Co-Director, Institute on Health,
Behavior and Environmental Policy, 1990-93. Member school board,
Iowa City Community School District ($70-million-dollar budget), 1998-01.
TELECOMMUNICATIONS AND ELECTRONICS
Presidential Advisor, White House Conference
on Libraries and Information Services, 1979 (appointed by President Jimmy
Carter; planned and managed with computer conferences through EIES (Electronic
Information Exchange System, New Jersey Institute of Technology)); former
Chair, Virtual Classroom Project, NJIT (testing of software and teaching
effectiveness via computer conferencing); former ConnectEd faculty (New
School for Social Research, New York City; computer conference-provided
college education); former University of California San Diego, Western
Behavioral Sciences Institute, International Executive Forum, faculty 1986-91
(global computer conferencing executive education). Keynoted 1991 Asia
Pacific Networking Forum in Seoul. UI Information Arcade Advisory Council,
UI Information Arcade Database Task Force (1991-92). Telecommunications
Sector Committee, Infrastructure Planning Task Force, Iowa Department of
Economic Development (2009-10).
(present and former) computer conferencing/e-mail/online database accounts:
America Online, Avalon Network, CompuServe, EasyLink, Internet Navigator,
IRIS, Lexis/Nexis, MCIMail, MetaNet, PeaceNet, Prodigy, SCARCNet (global
anti-smoking activists), UI LAWNet, UI Weeg, WELL, Westlaw. Web site creation,
such as: http://www.nicholasjohnson.org
linked sites, http://www.resourcesforlife.com/goiowa,
UI Law Cyberspace Law Seminar use of, publication of papers on, Internet/Web.
Other electronics: Former Commissioner,
Federal Communications Commission, and Iowa City Broadband and Telecommunications
Commission; publisher Media Watch and access magazines; contributing
editor and host, PBS network series, "New Tech Times"; freelance and nationally
syndicated columnist ("Communications Watch"); professor "Cyberspace Law,"
"Cyberspace Law Seminar" (and "Law of Electronic Media"); extra class amateur
radio operator; computer hobbyist; community video camera operator.
As Maritime Administrator, Chair, NATO, Planning
Board for Ocean Shipping, London and Washington (1964-66); F.C.C. commissioner
(1966-73); member "Midwest Opinion Leaders" delegation to NATO, 1987; international
lecturing for American Bar Association/Center for East European Law Initiative
(ABA/CEELI), Leigh Lecture Bureau, United States Information Agency, and
Travel, speaking, writing, broadcasting
from Australia (1996), Austria (2006), Belgium, Bulgaria (1999), Canada,
Chile (1996), Costa Rica (1994), Denmark, England, France, Georgia (Republic
of, 1998), Germany (old East and West), Hong Kong (1996), Iceland, Italy,
Japan (since 1965; most recently 2010), Kazakhstan (1993), Korea, Malaysia
(1996), Mexico (2001), Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Philippines, Poland
(1997), Puerto Rico, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland (2001), Thailand
(1996), and Vietnam.
Broadcasting studies: Australia, Canada,
England, Germany, Japan, Sweden. Writings translated into French, German,
Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish and Vietnamese.
Former board member, Volunteers in Technical Assistance (VITA); Fellow,
World Academy of Art and Science (Executive Board member 1993-97).
Member, Supplemental International and Comparative Law Faculty, University
of Iowa College of Law International and Comparative Law Program.
was elected to the Board of Directors, Iowa City [Iowa] Community School
District for a three-year term, 1998-2001. During this term he wrote
columns on K-12 education and school board issues for the Iowa City
Press-Citizen, 1998-2001, and maintained a personal "School
Board" Web site (links not only to columns, memos and School Board
writing, but also hundreds of others' educational policy research Web sites).
AND PUBLIC INTEREST
Reputation as Maritime Administrator and FCC
Commissioner as outspoken consumer advocate (e.g., Professor John
Kenneth Galbraith once characterized Johnson as "citizens' least frightened
friend in Washington"). Subsequent activities as Chair, National Citizens
Committee for Broadcasting and National Citizens Communications Lobby further
established credentials with "public interest movement." Forty-five-year
informal association with Ralph Nader. Government responsibilities and
subsequent coalition-building efforts often included organized labor; had
unprecedented party primary support from UAW in 1974 Congressional race,
local labor support in 1998 Iowa City School Board election.
EXPERIENCE AND HONORS
[U.S. Supreme Court Justice Hugo L. Black.] Iowa Bar Association Citizenship
Awardee, 1951. LL.B., 1958, University of Texas, Austin; articles editor,
Texas Law Review; Order of the Coif; Phi Delta Phi. Law clerk to U.S. Court
of Appeals, Fifth Circuit, Judge John R. Brown, Houston and New Orleans,
1958-59. Law clerk to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Hugo L. Black, Washington,
D.C., 1959-60. Associate, Covington & Burling, Washington, D.C., 1963-64.
Chairman, Maritime Subsidy Board, 1964-66. Commissioner, Federal Communications
Commission, 1966-73. Law professor, University of California, Berkeley,
1960-63; Georgetown University, 1971-73; University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana,
1976; University of Iowa, 1981-. Member of the Bar (now inactive status):
U.S. Supreme Court, 1963; Iowa, 1974; District of Columbia, 1963; Texas,
(Present and former) Advocacy Institute, American
Association of Retired Persons, American Civil Liberties Union, Amnesty
International, Aspen Institute, Center for Science in the Public Interest,
Carter Center, Center for Media Education, Citizen Works (including Corporate
Reform Commission), Coalition on Alcohol Advertising, Committee to Open
the Channel from People to Congress, Common Cause (former national board
member), Common Cause of Iowa, Communications Consortium, Computer Professionals
for Social Responsibility, Cultural Environmental Movement, D.C. Bar, FAIR
(Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting), Hightower and Associates, Institute
for Public Accuracy, Iowa City Public Library Friends Foundation, Iowa
Civil Liberties Union (former board member), Iowa Democratic Party, Iowa
Law School Foundation, Johnson County Democrats, Johnson County United
Way, Kazakhstan Media Project, Media Foundation (Adbusters), Melrose
Avenue Neighborhood Association, New Pioneer Coop, Planet Central Television,
Project Censored (judge), Public Citizen, Public Citizen Health Research
Group, Time Dollars, Unitarian-Universalist Society (Iowa City, IA), UI
Project on the Rhetoric of Inquiry, University of Texas Law Alumni Association,
Volunteers in Technical Assistance (VITA; board member), War and Peace
Foundation, Western Behavioral Sciences Institute International Leadership
Forum, Working Assets Long Distance, World Academy of Art and Science (board
member). And see, above: "Academic
and Writing Experience," and "Legal
Experience and Honors."See generally, "Affiliations."
at virtually every level from Precinct Captain (Austin, Texas, 1950s; Iowa
City, Iowa, 1980s), City (Iowa City Broadband and Telecommunications Commissioner,
1981-87), County (successful school board campaign and election 1998, political
party county central committee, executive committee, platform committee
chair), State (various campaigns of others), Congressional District (candidate
Iowa Third District, 1974 primary), U.S. Senate and House (briefly U.S.
Senate candidate, 1972; Congressional testimony on dozens of occasions
as agency head or public interest organization representative), Party National
Committee (board member, DNC Harriman Communications Center, Washington,
D.C.), Presidential campaigns (since 1948; in 1964 as member of President
Johnson's administration; 1976 coverage of Republican and Democratic National
Conventions for National Public Radio) and internationally (Chair, NATO
Planning Board for Ocean Shipping, 1964-66; "Midwest Opinion Leader" delegate
to NATO, 1986; Humphrey Institute "Rethinking Global Governance" project;
Volunteers in Technical Assistance (VITA) former board member; World Academy
of Art and Science fellow).
Three-time Presidential appointee: U.S.
Maritime Administrator (President Lyndon Johnson Administration); Federal
Communications Commission Commissioner (Johnson Administration; carry-over
to Nixon Administration); Presidential Advisor, White House Conference
on Libraries and Information Services (President Jimmy Carter Administration).
JOURNALISM, BROADCASTING EXPERIENCE
Author, How to Talk Back to Your Television
Set (1970) and Test Pattern for Living (1971); publisher access
magazine, 1975-77; nationally syndicated columnist, "Communications Watch,"
1982-86 (Gannett; Register and Tribune; Cowles; King Features syndicates);
Iowa City Press-Citizen (K-12 education and school
board issues, 1998-2001); applicant, NASA Journalist in Space Program;
articles in such popular publications as Atlantic, Boston Review,
Nation, The New Republic, The New York Times,
The Washington Post and Wired. Some writing translated
into French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish
and Vietnamese. Regular contributor of op ed columns to various newspapers.
Host and contributing editor, PBS national
network TV series, "New Tech Times," 1983-84; radio commentaries, National
Public Radio, 1974-78, 1983-86; radio debates with Pat Buchanan (WRC-AM,
summer 1976); guest on such network and syndicated shows as The Advocates,
Dick Cavett, Face the Nation, Good Morning America, Merv Griffin, Kup's
Show, Chris Lydon's "Connection," MacNeil-Lehrer, Bill Moyers Journal,
ABC Nightline, Over Easy, Tom Snyder's Tomorrow Show, Steve Allen, Phil
Donahue, Mike Douglas and over 200 local television and radio programs;
over 1000 public lectures as public official and through The Leigh Bureau.
Only FCC Commissioner ever featured on
the cover of the Rolling Stone. Judge, Project Censored (1975-).
Informal working relationships over the years with various Hollywood producers,
directors, writers and actors. Teaching in departments of communication
studies and theater.
Co-Director, Institute for Health, Behavior
and Environmental Policy, 1990-93 (projects on children's use of tobacco,
handgun injuries, human genome public policy, risk assessment, television
impact on health behavior). As FCC Commissioner helped establish "anti-smoking"
public service announcements, credited with decline in U.S. tobacco use.
Author, "A Public Health Response to Handgun Injuries: Prescription --
Communication and Education," in American Journal of Preventive Medicine
(May/June 1993). Participant, CDC&P working group on "Using Entertainment-Education
to Reach a Generation at Risk" (February 1994).
courses: Cyber and Electronics Law, Sports Law. Courses previously taught:
Administrative Law, Agency and Partnership, Broadcast History, Broadcast
Regulation, Constitutional Law, Corporations, Cyberspace Law Seminar, Economics
of Law Practice Seminar, Entertainment Law and Business, Law of Electronic
Media, Mass Communications Law, Oil and Gas Law.