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avatar for Mark Keenum

Mark Keenum

Mississippi State University
President
Dr. Mark Everett Keenum became Mississippi State's 19th president Jan. 5, 2009, following a distinguished public service career. Keenum serves as chairman of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools' Commission on Colleges' Executive Council. In 2016, Keenum was elected president of the Southeastern Conference where he is a member of the SEC Executive Committee and continues to serve on the SEC’s Content Committee that oversees the SEC Network. A graduate of Mississippi State with degrees in agricultural economics, Keenum’s interest in international food security has strengthened the university’s contributions to global economic sustainability. In 2014, he was appointed vice chairman of the Foundation for Food and Agricultural Research by U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Thomas J. Vilsack. Dr. Keenum began his career at MSU as a faculty member with the Extension Service and the Department of Agricultural Economics. He went on to serve as chief of staff to U.S. Senator Thad Cochran in Washington, D.C. and was Under Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture prior to returning home to Mississippi State.

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