Dr. Ray O. Johnson
Chief Executive Officer
Technology Innovation Institute and ASPIRE
Dr. Ray O. Johnson is the Chief Executive Officer of the Technology Innovation Institute (TII), the applied research pillar of Abu Dhabi’s Advanced Technology Research Council (ATRC). He is also the Chief Executive Officer of ASPIRE, the business development and program management arm of ATRC.
Under his leadership, TII has grown to become one of the world’s leading research institutes pushing the frontiers of knowledge, attracting the best global talent, and pioneering R&D breakthroughs across new technologies. His collaborative approach has delivered game-changing partnerships with governments, research institutes, universities, and industry partners around the world, which help drive solutions to some of society’s most pressing challenges.
In the past year, Dr. Johnson’s tenure has seen key milestone announcements including the launch of the MENA region’s first electromagnetic compatibility laboratories for high-energy laser and microwave testing as well as the region’s first impact lab to test and manufacture advanced materials and composites under extreme conditions. Further achievements include the development of NOOR, the world’s largest Arabic natural language processing (NLP) model to date; building the UAE’s first national and sovereign cryptography libraries; developing variations of a post-quantum cryptography library; the construction of a state-of-the-art directed energy facility that offers advanced pre-qualification testing in the UAE; and starting work on building the first quantum computer in the Arab world.
TII now employs 570 team members spanning 62 nationalities, of which 140 are UAE Nationals. Together, Dr. Johnson’s team has made a significant scientific contribution with more than 200 publications, two books, and over 10 patents.
Dr. Johnson brings to TII decades of experience in global technology leadership, making strategic investments in disruptive technologies and developing business strategies that resulted in several new billion-dollar lines of business. He has collaborated with leaders in the highest echelons of government, industry, and academia, and he is frequently sought after as a speaker at global forums on business, strategy, innovation, and education.
Before joining TII, he was an Operating Partner at Bessemer Venture Partners, a top-tier American venture capital company. Prior to this, he was Corporate Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer of the Lockheed Martin Corporation, in Maryland, USA, where he was responsible for the corporation’s operational performance and the associated board-reportable metrics. He led Engineering and Technology, Production Operations, Global Supply Chain, Program Management, and Logistics and Sustainment, while managing more than 72,000 people working on over 4,000 programs. He also led the Advanced Technology Laboratory in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, a profit and loss (P&L) center focused on generation-after-next technologies, and the Center for Innovation, that conducts collaborative experimentation and analysis.
Dr. Ray O. Johnson holds Ph.D. and M.S. degrees in Electrical Engineering from the Air Force Institute of Technology in Ohio, USA. He is a Full Academician of the International Academy of Astronautics, and a Fellow of the International Society for Optical Engineering (SPIE), the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), and the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA).