Jay Johnson

Director, Voinovich Academy for Excellence in Public Service


Colonel Jay Johnson is the Director, Voinovich Academy for Excellence in Public Service and lecturer for Ohio University’s Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs located at the Ohio University Dublin Campus. Jay has more than 30 years of government/military experience with an extensive background as a Marine Corps officer collaborating with interagency and international organizations in several executive level leadership positions. Jay’s career in the Marine Corps focused on leadership development and team building across a wide spectrum of organizational levels. This included developing and leading young service men and women to become agile, adaptive and innovative leaders.  His prior position was one of the executive directors at the U.S. Army Command & General Staff College where he advised and mentored more than 1,300 students (including students from more than 100 international countries and numerous interagency government students) on a range of complex issues and global challenges they will face as future mid-level leaders. In addition to his military experience, Jay has been a small group instructor and assistant professor teaching on a range of leadership and strategic level topics. He also served on several conference and committee panels dealing with curriculum development, advanced strategic leadership studies, security cooperation and national security.  Jay is a graduate of Ohio University, receiving a Bachelor’s in Criminal Justice.  He also holds a Masters of Public Administration degree from Webster University and National Resource Strategy from National Defense University (The Eisenhower School.)

Mark Cappone

Senior Executive in Residence-Appalachia, Voinovich Academy for Excellence in Public Service


Colonel (Retired) Mark Cappone is a Senior Executive in Residence- Appalachia at the Voinovich Academy for Excellence in Public Service. He joined the Academy after more than 25 years of government and military service. Mark served as the Assistant Director of the Ohio Department of Veterans Services from 2015-2019, coordinating agency staff functions and partnering with federal, state and community stakeholders as a cabinet-level advocate for Ohio’s nearly 800,000 military veterans. Mark’s military service consisted of extensive organizational leadership and professional development roles at various levels of Army command, where his career culminated as Commander of the 371st Sustainment Brigade and Chief of Staff for the Ohio Army National Guard. Mark’s brigade command entailed leadership of more than 1,800 soldiers with diverse missions including logistics management and sustainment of U.S. forces. As Chief of Staff he coordinated all staff functions in support of the Ohio Army National Guard’s 11,500 soldiers, including collaboration with inter-agency and nongovernmental partners as part of The Ohio Adjutant General’s Department. Mark teaches leadership and management courses for undergraduates and working professionals at the Voinovich Academy, the Summer Dean’s Leadership Institute in The Ohio State University Fisher College of Business, and Franklin University’s Management and Leadership Program. Mark is an Ohio University graduate with a bachelor’s degree in political science from the Honors Tutorial College. He also holds a master’s degree in strategic studies from the U.S. Army War College and a master’s degree in administration from Central Michigan University.

Deanna Clifford

Program Manager, Voinovich Academy for Excellence in Public Service


In her position, Deanna works to support the continued growth and development of the Voinovich Academy, located in Dublin.  She manages operational, marketing and new business development activities for professional and executive education programs and related initiatives. Deanna has a Bachelor of Science in Communication and a Masters of Arts in Communication from Ohio University. She started her career at the university as a public information coordinator for the Ohio University Telecommunications Center. Her most recent position was as the Manager of Access and Integration at the Ohio Department of Aging in Columbus. There, she planned, directed and evaluated agency initiatives related to access to services. Before her time at the Ohio Department of Aging, Deanna worked as the Director of Community Relations at Area Agency on Aging 11 in Youngstown. She has volunteered for the Ohio Senior Olympics since 2007, and has been the Board President of the Ohio Senior Olympics since 2016.

Sarah Mitchell

Curriculum, Assessment and Instruction Manager, Voinovich Academy for Excellence in Public Service


Sarah Mitchell joined the Voinovich School in 2017 as the executive training curriculum coordinator for the new George V. Voinovich Academy for Excellence in Public Service. In this capacity, she develops curriculum and helps to implement customized non-degree programs for nonprofit and public sector organizations.  Sarah is currently completing her Ph.D. at Ohio University, with concentrations in history and health communications.  She received a BA in anthropology from George Mason University and both an MA in history and an MS in science and technology studies from Virginia Tech. Mitchell previously worked as an instructor in the history department at Virginia Tech and as an academic skills instructor and advisor for Ohio University’s Academic Advancement Center.

Kate Leeman

Director of Strategic Initiatives, Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs


Kate Leeman is director of strategic initiatives for the Voinovich School and a lecturer for Ohio University’s MPA program. Her work focuses on assisting the Dean and other senior leaders to successfully implement strategically important projects across the Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs. Within the Academy, Kate is involved primarily with research, communications, and planning. In addition, she previously worked for five years with the Voinovich School’s highly regarded Executive Leadership Institute and serves as an institutional link to faculty, participants and curricula from that previous program. Kate has co-authored many reports and articles, primarily focused on poverty prevention and amelioration. With Susan Burgess, she recently published the Congressional Quarterly Guide to Radical Politics in the United States (Sage, 2016). Kate received a BA in philosophy from the University of Southern Maine and a Master of Public Administration degree from Ohio University.

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John Born

Executive in Residence, Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs/ Scripps College of Communication


John Born is an Executive in Residence at the Scripps College of Communication and the Voinovich School of Leadership and  Public Affairs. He served as Director of the Ohio Department of Public Safety (DPS) from 2013 to 2019 and served as Colonel and superintendent of the Ohio State Highway Patrol from 2011 to 2013 capping a 26-year law enforcement career. Among his assignments in the Patrol, he served as the first ever public information officer including during several nationally and internationally covered events and crises.  Later as both the Patrol’s Public Affairs Commander and Department of Public Safety Communications Director, he developed law enforcement and first-responder media relations crisis training used in Ohio and the United States. He holds Bachelor of Science in Journalism and Master of Social Science in deviant behavior degrees from Ohio University and completed the FBI’s National Executive Institute, governance training at Harvard Business School and leadership training at the United States Army War College.

Craig Chambers

Instructor, Voinovich Academy for Excellence in Public Service


Craig Chambers is currently an instructor in smart government at Ohio University’s Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs. He is a technology sector executive and corporate advisor with expertise in strategy, operations, and innovation management.  During a thirty-year private sector career, he built and led successful executive and consulting teams serving the electronics, digital services, biomedical and diversified manufacturing sectors.  He was president of two venture-funded businesses in the advanced video technology industry, developing computer vision products for military and commercial customers.  More recently he served as a senior advisor and program executive at both the federal and state levels of government, focused on technology investment and commercialization.  Mr. Chambers earned a bachelor of science degree in ocean engineering from the U.S. Naval Academy, where he graduated in the top one percent of his class. He also holds a master of science degree in nuclear engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a master in business administration degree from the Harvard Business School.