Keen has served as executive vice president for external relations and Keel’s chief of staff since 2015. In addition to managing the day-to-day operations of the Office of the President, Keen will continue to provide executive leadership for the external affairs of Augusta University and AU Health System.
“As a key member of my leadership team, Dr. Keen has played a pivotal leadership role in the university’s administrative affairs, including leading the current strategic planning process alongside the provost. Russell has been a crucial part of Augusta University’s success and growth for the past six years,” said Keel.
“As part of his ongoing work, Russell will have the overall responsibility of coordinating activities between all the executive vice presidents and shared services leaders, ensuring the development and implementation of enterprise-wide strategic directives, and supporting and maintaining the combined academic, research and clinical missions of the integrated academic health system. As part of that body of work, his duties also reside with the health system, including Augusta University Medical Center, Augusta University Medical Associates and other clinical and university entities.
“Dr. Keen will collaborate with executive vice presidents, vice presidents, deans and other leadership team members as we fulfill Augusta University’s mission as the state’s sole public academic medical center and work toward continued growth as a center of research excellence,” said Keel.
“I have been honored to work alongside Dr. Keel, the Augusta University leadership team, and my colleagues throughout the enterprise since 2015. The university has grown tremendously since then, and we continue to be excited for the future,” Keen said. “We remain focused on innovative solutions and new partnerships to enhance the success of our students and faculty as we strive to reach our goal of 16,000 students by 2030.”
Keen began his career in higher education in 2001 when he served as director for annual giving at Georgia Southern. He was later named Atlanta regional development director and associate vice president for governmental relations for the university. Prior to his arrival at Augusta University, Keen served as vice president for external affairs at Georgia Southern University. He has also worked for the University of Georgia’s Franklin College of Arts and Sciences and SafePath Children’s Advocacy Center.
Keen is a graduate of the 2010 Class of the Georgia Academy of Economic Development, the 2011 Class of Leadership Bulloch, the 2012 Class of Leadership Georgia, the 2012 Class of the Conservative Policy Leadership Institute, a 2014 graduate of the Protocol School of Washington and the 2016 Class of Leadership Columbia County.
He also serves on the Columbia County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, Rotary Club of Augusta, Georgia Chamber of Commerce, Conservative Policy Leadership Institute and the Government Affairs Council of the Association of Public and Land Grant Universities.
Keen is a native of the Augusta area and a graduate of Lakeside High School. He received a bachelor’s degree in finance, a master’s degree in higher education administration from Georgia Southern University and a doctor of higher education degree from the University of Georgia.