Karen Johnson

Karen R. Johnson, PhD

Associate Professor, Learning Technologies


  • PhD, University of Minnesota
  • MA, University of Minnesota
  • BA, University of the West Indies

Email: karen.johnson@unt.edu

Phone: 940-565-3174



My strong motivation to work with people to achieve their career and professional goals through education, training, and development inspired my interest in the human resource development and performance improvement profession. Before my appointment at the University of North Texas, I held the position of assistant professor in the Department of Educational Foundations and Leadership at the University of Akron. I have worked in a variety of settings in industry and academia, both locally and internationally.

I earned both an MA and a PhD in Work and Human Resource Education with an emphasis in Human Resource Development from the University of Minnesota. As a Jamaican native, I graduated from the University of the West Indies with an undergraduate degree in Psychology.

My research is situated within three interrelated areas of inquiry: 1) workplace training, learning, and performance, 2) workforce development, and 3) human resource development in the service economy, with specific attention on the tourism and hospitality industry. Across these areas, I bring an unwavering commitment to international and global perspectives, as well as equity and diversity, specifically advocacy for underrepresented populations often excluded from opportunity in the workplace. My research intersects both business and industry contexts as well as academic settings. Most recently, I have been investigating dynamic organization development interventions that aid the transition, retention, and work outcomes of individuals with autism in the workforce.