External Relations is responsible for strategically managing and seizing opportunities that will enhance the profile and reputation of Augusta University.

The Office of External Relations collaborates with partners to provide strategic leadership and expertise that builds positive relationships, to facilitate growth and support innovation that advances our students, university and community. This office partners with alumni, donors, communities, faculty, staff, and government to support the Augusta University’s mission and vision of becoming a top-tier research university.

Contact Us

Office of External Relations

Health Sciences Campus

G. Lombard Kelly Building



Meet the Executive Vice President

photo of Russell Keen, EdD

Russell Keen, EdD

  • Executive Vice President of Administration
  • Chief of Staff to the President


Message from Dr. Keen

"The Office of External Relations is continually working to build positive relationships and promote Augusta University. We collaborate with partners to provide leadership, facilitate growth, and support innovation with the common goal of providing benefits to our students, faculty, employees, university, and community. Welcome and thank you for stopping by. I hope you will take a moment to learn more about us!


I am honored to serve as Augusta University’s Executive Vice President for External Relations and Chief of Staff to University President, Dr. Brooks Keel. Our team strives to find innovative ways to solve problems, create opportunities for partnerships, educate the public, and ultimately build support to enhance the success of our students and faculty. We remain focused on advancing the shared mission of providing leadership and excellence in teaching, discovery, clinical care, and service across our community, state, region, and country. I hope the variety of resources below will help you learn more our work and the team that is here to serve you.


Thank you for your interest in our efforts. I look forward to sharing the great work occurring here on the campus of Augusta University and finding ways to work together in the future. Go Jags!"

About Dr. Keen

Russell Keen is an administrator with more than 19 years of experience in higher education. As Executive Vice President for External Relations and Chief of Staff to the Prescient, Keen manages the day-to-day operations of the Office of the President and provides executive leadership to Augusta University’s Philanthropy and Alumni Engagement, Foundations, Government Relations, Protocol and Special Events, Volunteer Services and Community Engagement programs. Keen began his career in higher education in 2001 when he served as the Director for Annual Giving at Georgia Southern University. He was later named Atlanta Regional Development Director and Associate Vice President for Government Relations for the university. Prior to his arrival at Augusta University, Keen served as Vice President for External Affairs at Georgia Southern. 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. Past affiliations and community involvement include the American Heart Association (Heart Ball Chairman 2018), United Way of the CSRA Board of Directors, Statesboro Rotary Club Board of Directors and the Statesboro-Bulloch Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors. Keen is a native of the Augusta area and a graduate of Lakeside High School. He received a bachelor’s degree in finance and a master’s degree in higher education administration from Georgia Southern University and a doctor of higher education degree from the University of Georgia.

Reporting Units

Philanthropy & Alumni Engagement

The Office of Philanthropy & Alumni Engagement nurtures relationships with alumni, friends and the community to encourage support for students, programs and the university environment.

Interim VP Eileen Brandon, Development
VP Stephen Lamb, Foundations

Government Relations

We are a resource for information and access, serving as liaison between Augusta University, the community, and local, state, and federal officials.

AVP Margie Miller

Protocol and Special Events

Office of Protocol and Special Events (OPSE), a division of the Office of External Relations, manages high profile, high-impact events, keynote speaker engagements, and special events hosted by the President.

AVP Suzanne Tatum
Director Gia Johnson

Volunteer Services & Community Engagement

Our volunteers provide crucial support and aid to the continuing mission of Augusta University to set the standard of excellence in education, research and clinical care.

AVP Kristina B. Baggott


photo of Suzanne Tatum

Suzanne Tatum

  • Associate Vice President of External Relations


photo of Maggie Witherington

Maggie Witherington

  • Business Operations Manager


photo of Jackie Stephens

Jackie Stephens

  • Sr. Executive Administrative Assistant to the President & EVP for Administration/COS