James A. Johnson, chairman of the Federal National Mortgage Association, has been named to the unpaid job of chairman of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

The Fannie Mae chief succeeds James D. Wolfensohn, who became chairman emeritus on Jan. 1 after becoming president of the World Bank. Mr. Johnson will continue to head Fannie Mae, the government-sponsored housing finance corporation.

As chairman, Mr. Johnson will head the center's board of trustees, which sets policy and looks after the center's finances.

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