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James Johnson Jr.

William R. Kenan Jr. Distinguished Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship and Director, Urban Investment Strategies Center


Kenan Center 314C, CB 3440 Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3440


James H. Johnson Jr. is the William R. Kenan Jr. Distinguished Professor of strategy and entrepreneurship and director of the Urban Investment Strategies Center at the Frank Hawkins Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise.

His research interests include community and economic development, the effects of demographic changes on the U.S. workplace, interethnic minority conflict in advanced industrial societies, urban poverty and public policy in urban America, and workforce diversity issues.

Dr. Johnson and Dr. John D. Kasarda coauthored “The Economic Impact of the African American Population on the State of North Carolina” and a study on the economic impact of North Carolina’s Hispanic population.  With support from the Russell Sage Foundation, Dr. Johnson published research on the economic impact of Sept. 11 on U.S. metropolitan communities. Currently he is researching the economic and employment impact of white collar job shifts offshore on U.S. competitiveness.

Dr. Johnson examines the causes and consequences of growing inequality in American society, particularly as it affects socially and economically disadvantaged youth; entrepreneurial approaches to poverty alleviation, job creation, and community development; inter-ethnic minority conflict in advanced industrial societies; and business demography and workforce diversity issues.

Fast Company profiled him in “Hopes and Dreams.”

He has published more than 100 scholarly research articles and three research monographs and has co-edited four theme issues of scholarly journals on these and related topics. His latest book is “Prismatic Metropolis: Inequality in Los Angles.”

He received his PhD from Michigan State University, his MS from the University of Wisconsin at Madison and his BS from North Carolina Central University.