SENIOR ADVISOR TO THE CHANCELLOR FOR EDUCATIONAL ACCESS
Christie Vilsack joined the CSU System in April 2017 as a Senior Advisor on the National Western Center redevelopment, focused specifically on K-12 educational programming at the site. Prior to joining CSU, Christie served the U.S. Agency for International Development as the Senior Advisor for International Education from 2013-2016. In that position, Christie supported USAID’s Education Strategy goals to improve children’s reading skills, strengthen youth workforce skills, and provide equitable access to education in crisis and conflict settings especially for girls. Christie has committed her life to education and public service.
For 25 years, Christie taught secondary and college English and journalism. Her experience inside the classroom led to a focus on education and advocating for public libraries as Iowa’s First Lady, as a candidate for Congress in Iowa, and now as an educational adviser for colleges and universities.
Born and raised in Mount Pleasant, Iowa, Christie is a graduate and charter class member of Kirkland College in Clinton, N.Y. She earned a master’s degree in journalism from The University of Iowa. She and husband — former Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, now CEO and President of the Dairy Export Council — live in rural Iowa. They have two married sons and four grandchildren. They have enjoyed a lifetime of public service together and continue to support efforts to improve domestic and international education.