The Mayor

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

Glenn is in his fourth, four-year term as Pullman’s mayor and enjoying the honor of serving the residents of this dynamic city of 33,730. 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, Glenn has ways of keeping his schedule busy representing those who live in Pullman and this state.

Gov. Jay Inslee appointed Glenn as a trustee of the Community Colleges of Spokane for a term through September 2022. He currently serves as vice chair of the trustees. Spokane Falls Community College serves Pullman with a location on the WSU campus. Community colleges are critically important in this country and Glenn benefited from his community college education before earning his doctorate.

He is a Washington State University Professor Emeritus and taught his last class at the university in 2014. He retired as the Les Smith Distinguished Professor of Media Management in the Edward R. Murrow College of Communication, where he was professor for 35 years, teaching courses in television news, communications management, and other courses. 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.

The WSU Alumni Association presented the highest award it can give to an individual who did not graduate from WSU—the honorary alumnus award—to Glenn in January 2016 “for significant contributions and steadfast support of WSU and the Pullman community.” The WSU Foundation presented Glenn with its Outstanding Service Award in 2013.

He has chaired the Pullman-Moscow Regional Airport Board of Directors since 2004 as part of his mayoral responsibilities. The airport (PUW) is working on a $142 million project to re-align its runway with help from the Federal Aviation Administration. The project will also lengthen and widen the runway, and provide instrument approach. It is scheduled for operation October 10, 2019.

Glenn truly believes in servant leadership and works at it daily. He represents the city on several state boards. He was appointed by the Secretary of Transportation to serve on the Transportation Improvement Board (TIB) and serves as its chair. He is on the board (and past president) of the Municipal Research and Service Center (MRSC) based in Seattle and serves as chair of the Employee Benefit Trust Board of Trustees, representing the southeast. This is a self-funded insurance pool covering city employees in over 240 communities, along with special districts. He is past president of the Association of Washington Cities (AWC), an organization that represents all 281 cities in the state and served on its board of directors from 2006 to 2013.

He is on the board of directors of the Pullman Chamber of Commerce and was the chamber president in 1999. He has chaired 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 (and is the current chair) of the Community Action Center of Whitman County. He is also on the board of the Palouse Free Clinic. He is also secretary-treasurer of the Washington State Association of Broadcasters and is a member both of Rotary (has served as club president) and Kiwanis.

He is volunteering as the co-chair, with Wayne Druffel, of the steering committee for the Next Era of Excellence fundraising campaign for Pullman Regional Hospital. He is also an honorary co-chair—with Alex McGregor and Mary Schweitzer—of the Pullman Depot Heritage Center’s fundraising campaign of the Whitman County Historical Society.

When he first arrived in Pullman in 1979, Glenn became active helping the community through the chamber and helped with several city bond measures. He was 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 continues to volunteer with the Pullman Fire Department as its Public Information Officer (PIO) and has done so since 2000. He was the PIO for the Pullman Police Department, and part of its professional police reserves, from 1998 to 2003.

Before becoming Mayor, Glenn was on the Board of Commissioners of the Pullman hospital serving from 1998 to 2003. He was board president for the last three years of his term. He was actively involved in the process of locating Pullman Regional Hospital on Bishop Boulevard which was completed in 2004.

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 California, including Los Angeles and Sacramento. He 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 associate director of student success with the North Central Educational Service District, based in Wenatchee. 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 Highway 95 near Genesee, Idaho on December 23, 1996.