The Mayor

Portrait of Mayor Glenn JohnsonGlenn A. Johnson, Mayor, Term: 2004-2007; 2008-2011; 2012-2015; 2016-2019; 2020-2023

Glenn considers it an honor to serve the citizens of Pullman and has always considered himself a servant leader and follows those principles. He is now in his fifth, four-year term, having started as mayor in 2004. When he was elected to his third term in 2011 be became the longest serving mayor since the city was founded in 1888. He has been unopposed in all five elections.

In addition to working daily for Pullman residents in this part time position, Glenn’s leadership is evident on the state level. Gov. Jay Inslee appointed Glenn as a trustee of the Community Colleges of Spokane and he currently serves as vice chair of the trustees. Spokane Falls Community College serves Pullman with a location on the WSU campus. He is also on the board of the Association of College Trustees, based in Olympia, and serves as legislative co-chair.

He was appointed by the Secretary of Transportation to serve on the Transportation Improvement Board (TIB) he serves as its chair. He is chair of the Employee Benefit Trust Board of Trustees, representing the southeast part of the state. This is a self-funded insurance pool covering city employees in over 240 communities, along with special districts. He is past president of the Association of Washington Cities (AWC), an organization that represents all 281 cities in the state and served on its board of directors from 2006 to 2013. He is on the board (and past president) of the Municipal Research and Service Center (MRSC) based in Seattle and Secretary-Treasurer of the Washington State Association of Broadcasters.

Glenn has chaired the Pullman-Moscow Regional Airport Board of Directors since 2004 as part of his mayoral responsibilities. The airport (PUW) is working on a $154 million project that saw the new runway open Oct. 10, 2019. The next projects include building a new taxiway and the construction of a new terminal. The new runway and its instrument approach system dramatically reduced the number of visibility cancellations at PUW.

He is on the board of directors of the Pullman Chamber of Commerce and was the chamber president in 1999. He has chaired of the popular Fourth of July celebration at Sunnyside Park since 1998 and in 2014 received the first ever “Continuous Service Award” from the chamber. He serves on the board (and is the current chair) of the Community Action Center of Whitman County. He is co-chair of the steering committee for the Next Era of Excellence fundraising campaign for Pullman Regional Hospital. Before becoming Mayor, Glenn was on the Board of Commissioners of the hospital serving from 1998 to 2003 and was the hospital president for the last three years of his term. He was actively involved in the process to move the hospital off campus and build the new hospital on Bishop Boulevard, completed in 2004. He is an honorary co-chair of the Pullman Depot Heritage Center’s fundraising campaign of the Whitman County Historical Society. He is also on the board of the Palouse Free Clinic and is a member of both Rotary (has served as club president) and Kiwanis

Glenn is also known in the state as the “Voice of the Cougs.” He has been the public address announcer for Cougar football and men’s basketball since 1980 and started the phrase, “And that’s another, Cougar First Down” back in 1983—copied and modified in many sporting venues, including in the home of the Seattle Seahawks.

The WSU Alumni Association presented the highest award it can give to an individual who did not graduate from WSU—the honorary alumnus award—to Glenn in January 2016 “for significant contributions and steadfast support of WSU and the Pullman community.” The WSU Foundation presented Glenn with its Outstanding Service Award in 2013

He taught his last class at the university in 2014 and retired as the Les Smith Distinguished Professor of Media Management in the Edward R. Murrow College of Communication, where he was professor for 35 years, teaching courses in television news, communications management, and other courses. He is a professor emeritus at WSU.
When he first arrived in Pullman in 1979, Glenn became active assisting the community through the chamber and helped with several city bond measures. He was co-chair of a bond issue to build a police station and was chair of several other successful bond issues: the expanded Bill Chipman Palouse Trail in 1998, the Downtown Riverwalk, and the measure to add three new firefighters and police officers. He continues to volunteer with the Pullman Fire Department as its Public Information Officer (PIO) and has done so since 2000. He was the PIO for the Pullman Police Department, and part of its professional police reserves, from 1998 to 2003.

He earned an AA degree from Modesto Junior College in California; a BA from Sacramento State University in speech with a minor in journalism and political science; a master’s degree from UCLA in journalism; and a Ph.D. in mass communications from the University of Iowa. Prior to arriving in Pullman, Glenn was a broadcaster and news reporter in California, including Los Angeles and Sacramento. He managed two radio stations in Sacramento and was an adjunct professor at Sacramento City College before becoming a full-time college professor at WSU.

Glenn and his wife, Kathryn, raised two children in Pullman’s excellent school system. Their son, Eric, is Associate Director of Social Emotional Learning and Threat Assessment with the North Central Educational Service District 171, based in Wenatchee. His wife, Darcy, is associate director of student success with District 171 and an adjunct professor at Eastern Washington University. Glenn and Kathy’s daughter, Karen, who was a registered nurse at Evergreen Hospital in Kirkland, WA, and her husband, Jeff Doke, a junior high science teacher, were killed in a car accident on Highway 95 near Genesee, Idaho on December 23, 1996.