Administrator of the Rural Utilities Service: Who Is Ken Johnson?

Wednesday, February 21, 2018
Ken Johnson (photo: MRED)

Kenneth Johnson, who has worked with rural electric utilities for his entire career, was nominated February 5, 2018, to lead Rural Utilities Service, a division within the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development Agency responsible for providing public utilities, such as water, waste disposal, telephone, electricity, and broadband Internet to rural areas through public-private partnerships. The agency administers loans, loan guarantees, and grant programs to eligible populations.


The son of Dale and JoAnn Johnson, Ken Johnson grew up on a farm near Edgar, Nebraska. He graduated from Kearney State University (now University of Nebraska-Kearney) in 1978.


Johnson joined the Nebraska Public Power District in 1979, working in line operations, systems control and regional operations. In 2000, he was named general manager of Twin Valleys Public Power District in Cambridge, Nebraska.


Johnson took over as general manager and CEO of Co-Mo Electric Cooperative in Tipton, Missouri, in 2005. While there, he initiated a project to bring high-speed internet to the rural area. More than 15,000 subscribers in the area now have some of the fastest internet speeds in the country, provided by Co-Mo Connect, a subsidiary of the co-op.


Johnson and his wife, Kendra, have four children: Kendall, Kimberlee, Krenda and Kirby.

-Steve Straehley


To Learn More:

Official Announcement (U.S. Department of Agriculture)


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