Richard A. Johnson

Retired Partner

Rick Johnson is a retired partner with 30 years of experience in Arnold & Porter LLP's Washington, DC office. He focuses his practice on: legal and regulatory issues related to research and innovation—especially in biotechnology and the life sciences, nanotechnology, energy technology, and next-generation information technology; and international trade, intellectual property, national security, export controls, and global regulatory matters related to fundamental research, entrepreneurship, and innovation.

Mr. Johnson also is engaged in broader policy issues that focus on: strategic policy issues related to innovation, the globalization of research and development, intellectual property policy, technology standards, knowledge markets, intellectual assets for value creation, and public-private partnerships; the internationalization of the research university and public-private research networks; and international health, eco-innovation (energy/environment), nanotechnology, and science policies.

He formerly served as General Counsel for International Trade at the US Commerce Department, where he was responsible for both US trade policy and international technology issues. In addition to receiving his Juris Doctor degree from the Yale Law School where he was Editor of the Yale Law Journal, he received his Master's degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) where he was a National Science Foundation National Fellow and his undergraduate degree with Highest Honors from Brown University.

Mr. Johnson serves as the Chairman or Vice-Chairman of four Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)/ Business and Industry Advisory Committee to the OECD Committees and Task Forces: Biotechnology and Health Innovation, Nanotechnology, Intellectual Property, and Technology Innovation; Chairs the US Council for International Business Biotechnology Committee; and Co-Chairs the United States Council for International Business Nanotechnology Task Force. He also is a member of the MIT Corporation Visiting Committee, Brown's Advisory Council on Biology and Medicine, and several advisory groups exploring new approaches to university-industry-government relationships and to innovation and translational research. He participates on several advisory groups at the National Academy of Sciences, and serves as Co-Chair of the new National Academies' project on synthetic biology. Mr. Johnson also participates on World Bank innovation initiatives and US State Department international science projects.


  • JD, Yale Law School, 1976
  • MS, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1973
  • AB, Brown University, 1972
  • District of Columbia
Government & Military Service
  • Associate General Counsel for International Trade, US Department of Commerce

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