New Hampshire Business Review names UNH-IOL director Erica Johnson an outstanding woman in business

Tuesday, February 2, 2016
UNH-IOL director Erica Johnson

UNH InterOperability Laboratory director Erica Johnson will receive an Outstanding Women in Business award from New Hampshire Business Review. Photograph by Mike Ross.

It’s a distinction that won’t surprise anyone who’s met UNH InterOperability Laboratory director Erica Johnson: Next week, New Hampshire Business Review (NHBR) will honor her with its Outstanding Women in Business award. She is one of six recipients of the annual award.

Johnson has led the UNH-IOL, one of the nation’s leading independent proving grounds for new technologies, since 2007. Her thought leadership and industry guidance has helped make the UNH-IOL the innovative leader of third-party testing services.


“The work the IOL does on a daily basis is impressive enough, but Erica’s leadership and guidance of the IOL is worthy of special recognition. She’s a global leader in the field and an excellent role model for us all,” says Marc Sedam, associate vice provost for innovation and new ventures at UNH, who nominated Johnson.

Interoperability — how systems work together to share data — is like giving your friend a high-five, Johnson says when she does demonstrations for groups of middle school students. “There’s an unwritten rule that you’re both going to put out your hand. Interoperability is what ensures one of you doesn’t stick your foot out instead.”

Johnson has won acclaim for her business smarts and deep understanding of complex computer networking technology, both skill sets nurtured at UNH. Johnson’s B.S. is in computer science from UNH, and in 2011 she received her MBA from Paul College. She began working at UNH-IOL like so many of the lab’s employees, as an undergraduate student. More than 100 UNH undergraduate and graduate student employees work at the UNH-IOL, gaining hands-on experience with developing technologies and products — as well as job offers, many secured prior to graduation.

Students stand in front of a bank of computers in the UNH-IOL
More than 100 undergraduate and graduate student employees work at the UNH-IOL. Photograph by Lisa Nugent.

Johnson is no stranger to industry accolades. The publication Fierce Telecom named her to its 2011 Women in Wireline list, and IEEE Communications Magazine appointed her co-editor of its network testing series in 2010. Johnson received the UNH Women’s Commission Stephanie Thomas Staff Award in 2010. She was recently named the Open Networking Foundation Testing Leadership Council chair and is the co-chair of the IPv6 Forum’s IPv6 Ready Logo Program.

In December, Johnson oversaw the UNH-IOL’s move from the west edge of campus to its new Madbury Commons facility in downtown Durham.

Johnson will be honored Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2016 at NHBR’s Outstanding Women in Business awards ceremony in Bedford, and she will be profiled in the Feb. 19 issue of NHBR.