Meeting in special session, the LSU Board of Supervisors tonight unanimously voted to approve the hiring of NASA Administrator Sean O’Keefe as LSU chancellor.

The board authorized LSU System President and Interim Chancellor William L. Jenkins to open talks with O’Keefe on details of a contract that will make him LSU’s seventh chancellor.

“Sean O’Keefe has an exemplary record of public service,” Jenkins said, “and I’m looking forward to our discussions and him becoming our new chancellor at this exciting time in LSU history.”

The Board of Supervisors vote on hiring O’Keefe, 48, followed a unanimous recommendation by a search committee that he become chancellor of LSU’s main campus and came at the conclusion of a marathon two-day visit that included meetings with students, faculty members, administrators and Baton Rouge community leaders.

A native of New Orleans, O’Keefe has held high government positions under two Bush Administrations, including NASA Administrator and deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget. He also served as Secretary of the Navy, and comptroller and chief financial officer for the Defense Department.

Before joining government service, O’Keefe held an endowed chair at Syracuse University as director of National Security Studies, a partnership between Syracuse and Johns Hopkins Universities. He was also a professor of business administration and assistant to the senior vice president for research and dean of the Graduate School at Pennsylvania State University.

O’Keefe holds a bachelor’s degree from Loyola University in New Orleans, a master’s degree in public administration from Syracuse University and five honorary doctorates. In 1993, President George H.W. Bush and then-Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney presented him with the Distinguished Public Service Award, one of the nation’s highest civilian awards.

Charles Zewe
LSU System