Manuel H. Johnson Center for Political Economy | Troy University

Manuel H. Johnson Center for Political Economy


The Manuel H. Johnson Center for Political Economy at Troy University provides a dynamic and rigorous education program focused on the moral imperatives of free markets and individual liberty, as well as relevant policy research on current and local issues.



To Achieve This Vision, We Engage In The Following Actions:

  • Attracting and nurturing outstanding faculty who are both first-rate scholars and creative educators;
  • Involving students in challenging and transformational learning;
  • Infusing free-market ideas and market-based management (MBM) principles into Troy University’s existing professional programs, such as the MBA;
  • Connecting undergraduate students to other institution’s graduate and professional programs;
  • Cultivating within our students the virtues of entrepreneurship, individual responsibility, free enterprise, leadership, and openness;
  • Fostering a lively and inclusive intellectual and social community through university- and community-wide outreach programs;
  • Using Troy University’s international programs to reach new and diverse audiences abroad;
  • Creating programs tailored to Troy University’s large military and minority student populations;
  • Making contributions on the frontiers of political economy through distinctive research agendas;
  • Transforming state and national policies through Johnson Center-related research and programs; and
  • Emerging as the premier source of free-market education in Alabama and as one of the best economics programs in the Southeast.


Who Is Manuel H. Johnson? 

Dr. Manuel Johnson

Manuel H. Johnson was born and raised in Troy, AL.  He is a graduate of Troy University and earned his MS and PhD from Florida State University.

Dr. Johnson is cochairman and senior partner in the consulting firm of Johnson Smick International, Inc., which provides information services on economic and political policy changes that affect global financial markets. He came to this position from the Federal Reserve System, where he was vice chairman of the board of governors. Before that, he was assistant secretary of the treasury from 1982 to 1986 and deputy assistant secretary from 1981 to 1982. He was presented with the Treasury Department's Alexander Hamilton Award, its highest honor.

From 1977 to 1994, Dr. Johnson was a professor of economics at George Mason University, where he held the Koch Chair in International Economics.  Dr. Johnson has written or cowritten five books and more than 50 articles on political economy and public policy. He also edited a professional journal and served on two presidential commissions.

Dr. Manuel H. Johnson is the ideal namesake for this center.  Dr. Johnson is a graduate of Troy University and served as a member of the US Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve Board of Governors.  He is widely respected in business and academic circles, and he is a strong believer in the principles of economic freedom.




Founding Gift Photograph

Thanks to a $3.6 million gift from Manuel H. Johnson, the BB&T Charitable Foundation, and the Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation, the Manuel H. Johnson Center for Political Economy was founded in 2010.  The Johnson Center supports the exploration of economic freedom and its role in promoting the economic well-being of people.  The center is built on the assumption that liberty is valuable in its own right and plays a crucial role in economic development.

The center's success depends on actively engaged students and scholars, and it is only made possible through the support of foundations and private individuals committed to advancing our understanding about the role free markets and capitalist institutions play in promoting prosperity.




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