Weiskopf named chief of staff in MSU Office of the President

Contact: Sid Salter

STARKVILLE, Miss.—Mississippi State University President Mark E. Keenum today [May 23] announced his appointment of MSU alumnus Lee Weiskopf as the university’s Chief of Staff in the Office of the President.

Lee Weiskopf portrait
Lee Weiskopf (Photo by Jonah Holland)

The appointment coincides with the upcoming retirement of longtime Special Assistant to the President Kyle Steward. Steward, formerly a successful congressional staff member to the late U.S. Rep. G.V “Sonny” Montgomery and later to U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker, was Keenum’s first executive staff member when he assumed the MSU presidency. Steward, a distinguished MSU alumnus, will retire from MSU on June 30.

“Kyle Steward’s service to MSU and me and my family has been invaluable. Kyle’s institutional knowledge and work ethic set an extremely high standard,” said Keenum. “I can think of no individual more qualified or capable of stepping into that vital role than Lee Weiskopf. Lee is deeply respected in both state and federal government circles and by the university leadership team on our campus. I look forward to working with Lee in this expanded role.”

Weiskopf said: “I would like to thank Dr. Keenum for the trust he has placed in me to continue to be a part of his leadership team. Under Dr. Keenum’s steadfast leadership, MSU ‘takes care of what matters’ by educating and serving our state, nation and world. This fall will mark 20 years since I first stepped foot on campus as a student and MSU continues to give back to me and my family in ways I could have never imagined. It is an honor to continue to serve my university.”

In this new role, Weiskopf will oversee day-to-day operations in the Office of the President, working with Dr. Keenum and senior MSU executive leadership to advance the university’s mission. Weiskopf will also retain the title of Director of Government Affairs, a role he has held since 2016. In that role, Weiskopf is a key advisor to President Keenum and MSU senior leadership on policy and political issues affecting the university, higher education and other state government matters.

Weiskopf will continue as the university’s primary contact with the executive and legislative branches of state government and the legislative and policy liaison to other institutions of higher learning as system-wide initiatives are developed. He is also the university’s lead lobbyist in the Mississippi Legislature, advocating for MSU and higher education in our state.

Before joining the MSU staff, Weiskopf served as Director of Policy for then-Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves. He joined the Office of the Lieutenant Governor in 2012, assisting Reeves in planning and coordinating policy decisions, adoption, and implementation. He began his professional career at MSU’s Social Science Research Center.

Weiskopf holds a bachelor’s degree in political science and a Master of Public Policy and Administration from MSU. He received the Sen. John C. Stennis Scholarship and was active in numerous campus activities, including serving as Student Association vice president.

Weiskopf and his wife, the former Amy Farnsworth, reside in Starkville with their two children, Julia (8) and Charles (5). Amy holds a master’s degree in food science, nutrition and health promotion from MSU.

The Weiskopfs are members of First Presbyterian Church of Starkville, where Lee serves as an Elder and Treasurer. Lee is a past recipient of Mississippi’s Top 50 Influential People, MSU Extension Service Director’s Award and the MSU College of Veterinary Medicine Dean’s Pegasus Award. Originally from Columbia, Weiskopf was a 2004 graduate of Columbia High School.

For more information on MSU’s Office of the President and its affiliated programs and services, visit https://www.president.msstate.edu.

MSU is taking care of what matters. Learn more at www.msstate.edu.

Thursday, May 23, 2024 - 8:50 am