Paul L. Johnson, 68, a retired scientific program evaluation specialist with the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, died Dec. 5 at his home in Bethesda. He had metastatic colorectal cancer.

His wife, Terrie Nelson, confirmed the death.

Dr. Johnson spent much of his career as a health policy evaluator. He settled in the Washington area in 1984 to work for the Public Health Foundation. He joined the Department of Health and Human Services in 1988, becoming a planning and evaluation specialist. He worked for the National Institutes of Health from 2001 until retiring in 2009.

Paul Luther Johnson was a Cleveland native. He studied sociology at Bowling Green State University in Ohio, receiving a bachelor’s degree in 1966 and a master’s degree in 1968. He received a doctorate in sociology from Syracuse University in 1978.

He was a past president and treasurer of the American Evaluation Association’s Washington affiliate. His other memberships included the Swedish-American Cultural Union and Cedar Lane Unitarian Universalist Church in Bethesda.

His first marriage, to Judy Alamprese, ended in divorce. Survivors include his wife of three years, Terrie Nelson of Bethesda; and a sister.

— Adam Bernstein