Entrepreneurship and Innovation

Gary Johnson

Gary Johnson

Lecturer in Entrepreneurship and Innovation



J.D., Harvard Law School
M.A., modern history, Oxford University 
B.A., history and political science, Yale University 

Courses Taught

ENTP/BUSN 220: Fundraising and Sales

ENTP 255: Nonprofit Leadership and Management

ENTP 260: Develop, Protect and Monetize Intellectual Property

ENTP 355: Chicago’s Innovation Community (Loop Campus)

ENTP: 370: New Venture Design (beginning spring 2024

Professional Experience

Lecturer in Entrepreneurship and Innovation, 2019 - present.

President of Chicago History Museum (2005-2021). In 2016, the Chicago History Museum received the nation’s highest honor for museums from the Institute of Museum and Library Services in a White House ceremony. In 2019, Chicago Innovation presented the museum its Social Innovator Award.

Attorney with two law firms, Jones Day and Mayer Brown, 1977-2005, specializing in international business. Admitted to practice as a lawyer in Illinois and New York and as a Solicitor of the Supreme Court of England and Wales.

Selected Honors and Awards

Chicago Cultural Alliance, Cultural Champion for 2023 (consortium of over 40 cultural heritage museums and centers in the Chicago area)

Honorary Doctor of Liberal Arts, Lake Forest College

Rhodes Scholar (also served 13 years as head of the Rhodes Scholar selection process for the district that includes Illinois and other states)

Service to Civil Rights, Ethics and the Rule of Law

Chair of the Board of Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law (national civil rights organization)

Chair of the Board of Legal Aid Chicago (legal services to the poor of metropolitan Chicago)

Vice Chair of the Illinois Supreme Court Commission on the Administration of Justice and a member of the Special Commission on the Administration of Justice in Cook County, Illinois, and of the Criminal Justice Project of the Circuit Court of Cook County (together, these three commissions from the 1980s were known as the “Solovy Commissions”). Principal author of several commission reports, including the report on judicial conduct and ethics.

As a member of the American Bar Association's governing body in 2000, principal draftsman of a new statement of ethics policy for the A.B.A’s Model Rules of Professional Conduct. For this work, received the Presidential Commendation of the Illinois State Bar Association for “outstanding service to legal ethics.”

Member, American Law Institute (independent organization producing scholarly work to clarify, modernize, and otherwise improve the law”)

President, Chicago Council of Lawyers (one of Chicago’s bar associations)

Service to History and the Arts

Chair of the Board of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, Springfield, Illinois (appointed by Governor J.B. Pritzker, 2021 - present)

President of Museums in the Park (association of 11 of Chicago’s top museums) (2008-2017)

Led 15 cultural institutions in their multiyear Museums Work for Chicago legislative campaign in Springfield and Chicago

Member of a special task force for the American Alliance of Museums to reform the museum accreditation process

Presidential Counselor and member of the Strategic Planning Committee for the National World War II Museum (located in New Orleans)

Chair of the Nominating Committee for the annual Pritzker Literature Award for Lifetime Achievement in Military Writing given by the Pritzker Military Museum and Library (located in Chicago)

Member of the Radio Committee of WFMT (oversight of Chicago’s classical music station)

Selected Publications and Presentations

Johnson, Gary T. and Russell Lewis. Lessons Learned About Nonprofit Management and Finance. Chicago, Chicago Historical Society, 2012.

Nine author interviews posted by C-SPAN Networks 

Presentations posted on websites of Chicago History Museum and other organizations, such as the City Club of Chicago and the Economic Club of Chicago.