Rosie Awori (LJI)
Nicholas Johnson, who made history in 2020 when he became the first Black valedictorian at Princeton University, has been recently named by CNBC media organization as one of 23 Black leaders who are shaping history.
The young Montrealer is the first Black student to earn that distinction in one of the world’s most prestigious institution, which was established in 1734 as the fourth-oldest college in the USA and boasts of having over 40 Nobel laureates, seven Pulitzer Prize winners, and three U.S. presidents.
The latest acknowledgement and commendation publish on CNBC online platform- make it- stand him among a group of distinguished leaders in the USA, who are poised to make an impression in the annals of global history
A life long over-achiever, Johnson’s groundbreaking achievement at Princeton earned him accolades from far and wide including congratulatory messages from former first lady, Michelle Obama and even Oprah who tweeted in support of his triumph.
He is now working on a PhD in operations research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
“Operations research is the study of how to make good decisions with limited information, largely using tools from mathematical optimization,” he told the CONTACT at the time. “After I finish this program, I envision following an entrepreneurial path, one in which I really leverage my skill set to tackle important problems in health care and finance.”
Johnson joins other trailblazers on the CNBC list, which was published on February 1 that includes:
* Dr. Kizzmekia S. Corbett, is lead scientist on the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. She is a research fellow and the scientific lead for the Coronavirus Vaccines & Immunopathogenesis Team at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Vaccine Research Center (VRC). The vaccine concept incorporated in mRNA-1273 was designed by Dr. Corbett’s team from viral sequence data and rapidly deployed to an industry partner, Moderna, Inc., for U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved Phase 1 clinical trial, which unprecedently began only 66 days from the viral sequence release.
Midshipman 1st Class Sydney Barber, who will become the first Black woman to serve as a brigade commander at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md. and the 16th woman to serve in the position in the 44 years women have been allowed to attend the Naval Academy.
There’s also Nia DaCosta, who is a writer/director from New York City. She’s the first Black woman to helm a Marvel movie. She will be directing the anticipated reboot of Candyman, the sequel to Captain Marvel.
Other notable Black icons on the list include: Victor J Glover the first Black astronaut to live and work at the International Space Station for an extended stay.
Kamala Harris, the first Black, first South Asian America and first woman serving as vice-president of the USA.
The indomitable Amanda Gorman, whose words of inspiration at the recent inauguration of President Joe Biden, still resonates.
Rosalind Brewem, Walgreens’ next CEO and only Black woman to currently lead a fortune 500 firm.
Raphael Warnock, Georgia’s first Black senator.
Rashida Jones, MSNBC president and first Black executive to run a major television news network.
Sandra Lindsay, a Jamaican born nurse who became the first American to receive the COVID-19 vaccine outside of trials.
Cythnia “Cynt” Marshall, of the Dallas Mavericks, the first Black female CEO in the NBA.
Cari Bush 44, Missouri’s first Black Congresswoman.
Alice Boler Davis, first Black woman named to Amazon’s senior team the inner circle that advices Jeff Bezos.
Noah Harris, first Black man to be student body president at Harvard.
Mellody Habson, CEO and president of Ariel Investment and first Black woman to serve as chair of Starbucks board.
Jesse Collins first Black executive producer of the super bowl half-time show.
Aicha Evans, CEO of ZOOK and first Black woman to run a self-driving car company.
Jason Wright, head of the Washington Football team and is the first Black president of a National Football League team.
Dana Canedy, senior vice president and publisher at Simon and Shuster trade imprint at first Black person to head a major company in the industry.
Bozoma Saint John, Netflix chief marketing officer and first Black C-suite executive at the company.
Cheick Camara and Ermais Tadesse who are the co-founders of BlackGen Capital Cornell University’s first Black investment fund.