William D. Johnson

Adjunct Professor of Law


William D. Johnson (Bill) has almost 40 years of experience in and around the utility business. He started his career as an attorney with Hunton & Williams (now Hunton  Andrews Kurth), a firm focused broadly on the utility industry, where he represented utilities across the United States. After becoming  a partner in the firm, he transitioned to working directly in the utility field. Since 1992, Bill has served in nearly every executive capacity within utility companies, and has been the Chief Executive Officer of three large utilities (Progress Energy, Tennessee Valley Authority, and Pacific Gas & Electric).  He has broad experience in operations, public and governmental affairs, finance, mergers and acquisitions and other aspects of the utility business.

During his career, Bill has focused on the personal development of the people in the organizations he served. He has had a particular interest in the theory and practice of leadership and organizational development and has served in a leadership capacity in many industry and civic organizations.

Bill graduated summa cum laude from Duke University and with high honors from the University of North Carolina School of Law, which recognized him as a distinguished alumni in 2011. He had the honor of clerking for the Honorable J. Dickson Phillips Jr., a judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit and a former dean of UNC School of Law.