The First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced Saturday the appointment of Elder Paul V. Johnson as commissioner of the Church Educational System, succeeding Elder W. Rolfe Kerr, who has been called as the Logan Utah Temple president. The leadership changes will be effective Aug. 1, 2008.

   As commissioner, Elder Johnson will direct the operations of the church's higher education institutions, including Brigham Young University, BYU-Idaho, BYU-Hawaii and LDS Business College, in addition to having responsibility for seminaries and institutes of religion.

   Elder Johnson was called to serve as a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy on April 2, 2005. He was called as a member of the Fifth Quorum of the Seventy and an Area Authority Seventy in the Utah North Area in June 2003. In August 2003, he was assigned to the Utah Salt Lake City Area, where he was serving at the time of his call to the First Quorum of the Seventy.

   Elder Johnson received a bachelor of science degree from Brigham Young University in zoology/botany in 1978 and a master's of education degree in counseling and guidance in 1982. He went on to receive a doctorate of education in instructional technology from Utah State University in 1989, and was employed by CES as administrator of religious education and elementary and secondary education.

   The Church Educational System has grown from a few children's classes in 1832 to a worldwide organization with approximately 700,000 students.