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Commissioner Thomas W. Johnson

Photo of Commissioner Thomas W. Johnson

Thomas W. Johnson

Term ends: April 10, 2019


Thomas W. Johnson was appointed to the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) by Governor John Kasich in April 2014. Johnson served as PUCO chairman for the first year of his term. In addition to his role as commissioner of the PUCO, he is an active member of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC). He is a member of NARUC’s Subcommittee on Education and Research, Committee on International Relations, and Subcommittee on Pipeline Safety. He is also the co-vice-chair of the Subcommittee on Clean Coal and Carbon Management.

Commissioner Johnson has a long tradition of public service having served for 22 years in the Ohio House of Representatives, where he represented southeastern Ohio. He chaired the House Finance & Appropriations Committee; and was a member of the House Public Utilities Committee and the House Energy & Environment Committee. While in the House, Johnson worked on many key policy issues including: telecommunication deregulation, oil and gas regulations, coal guidelines, power plant strategies, pipelines, railroads and many other energy management concerns.

After leaving elected office, Johnson served as Governor Bob Taft’s director of the Office of Budget and Management from 1999 to 2006. There he earned praise for crafting fiscally responsible budget policies and Ohio’s School Facilities Program. He also reviewed and made policy recommendations regarding the PUCO’s budget and Ohio’s transportation budget.

Following his time at the Office of Budget and Management, Johnson served The Ohio State University as interim university treasurer and assistant vice president of financial services. While with The Ohio State University, he also taught graduate-level courses on public budgeting at the John Glenn College of Public Affairs.

Commissioner Johnson earned his bachelor of arts degree in government from Muskingum University. He grew up in Guernsey County, where his grandparents were farmers, and developed a keen appreciation for stewardship of the environment. 

His commitment to public service and improving people’s lives led to many awards, including the Distinguished Service Award for Outstanding Service to Humanity from the Muskingum University Alumni Association; the Legislator of the Year Award on behalf of children with special needs; and the Conservation Legislator Award for his outstanding contributions to the wise use of the nation’s natural resources.

Commissioner Johnson, formerly of New Concord, resides in Columbus with his wife Joyce, a retired reading teacher. They have two grown daughters and four grandchildren.