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Business consultant and investor Debra Hunter Johnson named Chair of UT Southwestern President’s Advisory Board

DALLAS – Feb. 21, 2023 – Business consultant, attorney, and investor Debra Hunter Johnson, founder of Reciprocity Consulting Group, will chair the UT Southwestern Medical Center President’s Advisory Board for the 2023-2025 term.

Debra Hunter Johnson

The President’s Advisory Board provides Daniel K. Podolsky, M.D., President of UT Southwestern, and top executives with guidance on advancing UT Southwestern’s institutional missions and ambitious agenda. Members include a diverse group of civic, corporate, foundation, and philanthropic leaders from the Dallas-Fort Worth region who serve as community voices and as UT Southwestern advocates for population health issues, standard-bearers for clinical excellence, and proponents for scientific breakthroughs.

“We are grateful for Debra’s leadership, insight, and counsel in this vital role as UT Southwestern continues to broaden its capacity to improve medical science while meeting the health care needs of our community, Texas, and beyond,” said Dr. Podolsky, who holds the Philip O’Bryan Montgomery, Jr., M.D. Distinguished Presidential Chair in Academic Administration, and the Doris and Bryan Wildenthal Distinguished Chair in Medical Science. “Debra’s distinctive blend of international, national, and regional experience, along with her intimate familiarity with UT Southwestern and the communities we serve, will help us advance UT Southwestern’s missions of care, research, and education.” 

Ms. Johnson has served on the board since its inception and chaired the Marketing and Public Affairs Committee. She currently serves on the Executive, Nominations, and Technology Development committees, and succeeds Jeffrey A. Chapman to become the board's third chair since it was established by Dr. Podolsky in 2017.

“It is my honor to be able to contribute to UT Southwestern’s impressive expansion, such as the exciting launch of the Peter O’Donnell Jr. School of Public Health, the institution’s first new school in more than 50 years,” Ms. Johnson said. “The vital academic medical training provided to generations of physicians, the research that fuels innovative medical treatments, and the nationally recognized care provided through its hospital and clinics are invaluable community assets.”

Ms. Johnson’s community service interests center on economic empowerment initiatives, developing confidence and resilience in young people, and equal access to health care. She is a founding member of the Village Giving Circle, a group of Black women philanthropists who fund organizations and initiatives that benefit the Black community. Among her philanthropic endeavors with UT Southwestern, Ms. Johnson has supported the UTSW-affiliated global health initiative Bahir Dar Outreach for Neurology Education (BORNE), which facilitates neurological and emergency medicine education for Ethiopian physicians and hospitals to improve morbidity and mortality.

Ms. Johnson has more than 30 years of professional experience, including serving as an associate general counsel and human resources vice president at American Airlines and as an attorney at Chrysler. She serves on the Executive Committee of the Texas Women’s Foundation board and co-chairs its Economic Leadership Council. Ms. Johnson also serves on the Dallas Economic Development Corporation Board and currently chairs its CEO Search Committee. She is an advisor to Kanarys, Inc., a DEI SaaS technology company, and a mentor/partner at the Capital Factory, the most active startup investor/accelerator in Texas.

She also is a member of the Trinity Chapter of the Links Inc., Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc., The Girl Friends Inc., the Junior League of Dallas, The Dallas Assembly, and The Dallas Summit.

Ms. Johnson obtained a B.A. in English from the University of Michigan and a J.D. from Howard University School of Law. She also attended the Caruth Institute for Entrepreneurship Certificate Program at Southern Methodist University.

“It is an exciting time for UT Southwestern, and our board looks forward to providing helpful and impactful guidance to Dr. Podolsky’s exceptional management of this institution,” Ms. Johnson said.

About UT Southwestern Medical Center

UT Southwestern, one of the nation’s premier academic medical centers, integrates pioneering biomedical research with exceptional clinical care and education. The institution’s faculty has received six Nobel Prizes and includes 24 members of the National Academy of Sciences, 18 members of the National Academy of Medicine, and 14 Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigators. The full-time faculty of more than 2,900 is responsible for groundbreaking medical advances and is committed to translating science-driven research quickly to new clinical treatments. UT Southwestern physicians provide care in more than 80 specialties to more than 100,000 hospitalized patients, more than 360,000 emergency room cases, and oversee nearly 4 million outpatient visits a year.