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MU names new president

Judith Johansen, a former energy executive, will take over in July as school's 13th president

The Marylhurst University Board of Trustees has selected Judith Johansen as the university's 13th president.

Johansen will take the helm on July 1, from the current president Nancy Wilgenbusch, who is retiring after 24 years of service to the institution.

In making the announcement last week, Board Chair Ruth Beyer praised Wilgenbusch's accomplishments and dedication to Marylhurst.

'Nancy's leadership inspired significant achievements including the transition from college to university and the implementation of an innovative liberal arts program for adult students,' Beyer said. 'We are grateful for her dedicated service to Marylhurst University.'

She added, 'The board of trustees conducted an exhaustive search. As chair of the search committee, I am proud of the care and thought that went into the selection of Judith Johansen. She is known and respected throughout the Northwest. Her proven skills as an organizational leader and strategic thinker will serve Marylhurst well.'

Johansen gained her experience outside the field of education. She worked in the energy utility industry in several executive capacities during the last 16 years. Most recently she was the president and CEO of PacifiCorp, a six-state electric utility with more than 6,600 employees.

'I'm honored to join Marylhurst and look forward to expanding its mission of serving self-directed learners,' Johansen said. 'I'll enjoy working with faculty, students and staff as we expand Marylhurst's vision for the 21st Century.'

Although Johansen is known for her business and civic activities, she has a strong commitment to higher education. She has served on Lewis and Clark College's Board of Trustees since 2004 and was elected as board chair in 2007. Her responsibilities include involvement in development, academic affairs, buildings and grounds, policy matters and student life.

She has lived in the Portland area for most of her career. She joined PacifiCorp as an executive vice president in December 2000, was named president and CEO the following year and served in that capacity for five years. Prior to PacifiCorp, Johansen served in a variety of senior executive positions at the Bonneville Power Administration between 1992 and 2000, including CEO/administrator from 1998 to 2000.

Her involvement in the Northwest includes active participation on many boards and committees. In addition to chairing the board of trustees at Lewis and Clark, she currently serves as commission president for the Port of Portland; trustee for Oregon Chapter of The Nature Conservancy; and senior director for Oregon Business Council. She is a member of the board of directors for Schnitzer Steel, Kaiser Permanente, Cascade Bancorp and Idacorp. She has also served on the board of directors of Scottish Power PLC and the Portland branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.

She earned her J.D. from the Northwestern School of Law at Lewis and Clark and her bachelor's in political science from Colorado State University. Johansen has published in the fields of environmental law, energy policy and technology.

Marylhurst University is located on Highway 43 between Lake Oswego and West Linn.