The Bend Foundation announced May 11 that it has added Rebecca “Becky” Johnson to its Board of Trustees. Johnson will fill the vacancy created when longtime civic leader in Bend, Oregon, development visionary and Old Mill founder William Smith passed away in November 2022.

Johnson, who had a 37-year career at Oregon State University, began as an assistant professor and rose to become the first woman to lead the state’s largest university as interim president from 2021 to 2022. During her tenure as interim president, the university achieved record increases in research funding and enrollment and the OSU Foundation achieved a record year of philanthropic giving, totaling over $216 million. Prior to being named interim president, Johnson was the leader of OSU-Cascades, OSU’s branch campus in Bend, from 2009 to 2021. Under her leadership, OSU-Cascades secured funding that helped transform it from a degree transfer program to a four-year campus in 2016.

Johnson received a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a master’s and a doctoral degree in agricultural economics from Michigan State University.

“We invited Becky to join The Bend Foundation as a Trustee because not only does she possess extraordinary experience and board-level leadership skills, but because of her deep knowledge of and caring for the Bend community that helped bring a four-year university to Central Oregon,” said Mike Hollern, Bend Foundation Trustee and Chairman of the Board of Brooks Resources Corporation.

“It is an honor to be invited to serve with the wonderful trustees of The Bend Foundation,” Johnson said. “Having recently retired and relocated back to Bend, I am looking forward to dedicating time and energy to furthering the cause and carrying out the mission of the foundation to the betterment of the community in the coming years.”

Other Bend Foundation trustees include Conley Brooks Jr., Board Member of Brooks Resources Corporation; Colin S. Brooks, Board Member of Brooks Resources Corporation; Hollern; Romy Mortensen, VP of Sales and Marketing of Brooks Resources Corporation and Kirk Schueler, President and CEO of Brooks Resources Corporation.