Mayor’s Biography

Last Updated on Monday, 27 June 2016 08:47

Glenn A. Johnson, Mayor, Term: 2004-2007; 2008-2011; 2012-2015; 2016-2019

    Glenn has the honor of serving Pullman residents as Mayor since 2004 and is now in his fourth, four-year term.  When he was re-elected in 2011 he became the first mayor elected to three terms since the city was founded in 1888.  Although the position is part time for this city of 32,110, Glenn has ways of keeping his schedule rather busy serving the citizens of this great city.

    In January 2016 the Washington State University Alumni Association presented Glenn with the highest award it can give to an individual who did not graduate from WSU—the honorary alumnus award “for significant contributions and steadfast support of WSU and the Pullman community…Your attitude and tradition of community service is an inspiration to Pullman community members, Washington State University staff and faculty, and to Cougar alumni and friends everywhere.”  The WSU Foundation presented Glenn with its Outstanding Service Award in 2013.

    He is a Professor Emeritus from WSU where he taught classes in the Edward R. Murrow College of Communication for 35 years.  He retired in 2014 as the Les Smith Distinguished Professor of Media Management.  Although he is no longer teaching on campus, he continues as the “Voice of the Cougs” as the public address announcer for Cougar football and men’s basketball, a position he has held since 1980.

    He is past president of the Association of Washington Cities (AWC), an organization that represents 281 cities in the state and served on its board of directors from 2006 to 2013. Glenn continues to serve on several AWC committees including the legislative priorities, the nominating, and the federal legislative committees.

    Glenn is chair of the Employee Benefit Trust Board of Trustees and represents the southeast portion of the state on this board. This self-funded insurance pool covers many employees in over 240 jurisdictions.   He serves on the board of the Municipal Research and Services Center (MRSC), based in Seattle and is currently secretary of that organization. In 2016 he was appointed by the Secretary of the State Department of Transportation to the Transportation Improvement Board (TIB).

    He is chair of the Pullman-Moscow Regional Airport Board of Directors, a position he has held since 2004 as part of his mayoral responsibilities.   This is an exciting time for PUW as the airport is re-aligning and extending width and length to its runway.  This $90-million project is underway and is expected to be completed in 2019.

    Glenn has long believed in being a servant leader and abides by its principals each day.  He has earned the Advanced Certificate in Municipal Leadership from AWC; he is certified by Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency as an advanced public information officer (PIO).  He continues to volunteer with the Pullman Fire Department as its PIO and has done so since 2000.  He was the PIO for the Pullman Police Department from 1998 to 2003.  If there is a state of emergency in Whitman County, Glenn will serve as the PIO for the county during level II and III emergencies.
    Before becoming Mayor, Glenn was elected to the Pullman Memorial Hospital (now Pullman Regional Hospital) Board of Commissioners, served from 1998 to 2003 and was board president for the last three years of his term.  He was actively involved in the process of getting a new hospital on Bishop Boulevard that was completed in 2004.

    He is on the board of directors of the United Way of Pullman, the Pullman Chamber of Commerce and was the 1999-2000 chamber president.  He has been chair of the popular Fourth of July celebration at Sunnyside Park since 1998 and in 2014 received the first ever “Continuous Service Award” from the chamber.  He serves on the board of the Community Action Center of Whitman County and the Palouse Free Clinic.  He is on the Palouse Advisory Board of the Inland Northwest Blood Center, based in Spokane.  He is secretary-treasurer of the Washington State Association of Broadcasters.

    Glenn became active helping the community when he first arrived in 1979 through the chamber and helped with several city bond issues.   He was asked to be co-chair of a bond issue to build a new police station and was chair of several other successful bond issues: the expanded Bill Chipman Palouse Trail in 1998, the Downtown Riverwalk, and the measure to add three new firefighters and police officers—“dime for peace of mind.”

    He earned an AA degree from Modesto Junior College in California; a BA from Sacramento State University in speech with a minor in journalism and political science; a master’s degree from UCLA in journalism and a Ph.D. in mass communications from the University of Iowa.  Prior to arriving in Pullman, Glenn was a broadcaster and news reporter in Modesto, Iowa City,  Sacramento, Los Angeles and managed two radio stations in Sacramento for four years before becoming a full-time college professor.

    Glenn and his wife, Kathryn, raised two children in Pullman’s excellent school system.  Their son, Eric, is executive director of business and operations for the Moses Lake School District and his wife, Darcy, is director of special services for the district.  Glenn and Kathy’s daughter, Karen, who was a registered nurse in Kirkland, Washington, and her husband, Jeff Doke, were killed in a car accident on Dec. 23, 1996.