Gary Johansen

Rodney D. Chipp Memorial Award

Gary Johansen, Rodney D. Chipp Memorial Award, headshot

Gary Johansen

Cummins Inc.

For wholehearted commitment to increasing diversity and inclusion; for global advocacy of women engineers in the workplace; and for continuously empowering all in his sphere to find their voices.

Gary Johansen is vice president of engineering in the Power Systems Business at Cummins Inc., a global leader in diesel and natural gas engines and power generating equipment. He leads a team of 1,700 engineers, technicians, and support staff across India, China, Brazil, the U.K., and the U.S. His teams develop industry-leading, sustainable power solutions for the mining, marine, rail, defense, oil and gas, power generation, and other markets worldwide.

Johansen joined Cummins in 1987 as an engine combustion development engineer. He has since taken roles of increasing leadership and technical scope, as a worldwide chief engineer, platform development leader, and worldwide engineering leader in the Power Generation, High Horsepower Engines, and, most recently, the Power Systems business.

Decades within Cummins have given Johansen the opportunity to see firsthand, around the world, the experience of women engineers in the workplace, and he has taken action. During his early years with the company, Johansen led diverse, cross-cultural teams in developing products for local markets, while connecting them globally. Seeing the power of diversity, he consistently drove hiring and advancing women at all organizational levels, increasing their representation by 10%.

In 2009, Johansen began leading the global engineering team for the Cummins Power Generation business. In this role, he led a team of 750 engineers, which included women leading technical operations, technical strategy, and genset and microgrid controls.

Known as a welcoming and empowering leader, Johansen has focused on diversity and inclusion at every step of his career, creating teams with women typically holding 50% of leadership roles. He sets high expectations for his leadership team to do the same and has mentored and championed many women engineers around the world.

Within Cummins, Johansen is a strong advocate for greater diversity, equity, and inclusion, leading or sponsoring numerous local and global initiatives. His work with the Technical Women’s Circle in Fridley, Minnesota, led to the creation of the Facilitated Conversations on Inclusion and Unconscious Bias, which has impacted nearly 4,000 Cummins employees worldwide. He has also spoken frequently at SWE events, and served as co-sponsor of the Cummins team hosting events at WE18.

Outside of work, Johansen has personally funded an annual scholarship for women pursuing STEM careers at South Suburban College, the Chicago-area institution where he began his college years. He is a former board member of STARBASE Minnesota, which helps economically disadvantaged young students explore STEM careers. He led the creation of the first National Society of Black Engineers Summer Engineering Experience for Kids program within Cummins, now in its third year. He is also a board member of the Courage Kenny Foundation, which supports one of the largest rehabilitation hospitals in the United States.

Johansen earned a B.S. in mechanical engineering from Trine University. He and his wife, Linda, have two adult children, Emily and Alan. Outside of work, he enjoys a wide variety of music, spending time in nature, and being with friends and family.