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Choi Appoints Schnieders as Director of Government Relations

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Christian Basi

October 16, 2017

Position will be responsible for day-to-day operations of government relations

COLUMBIA, Mo. – Following the cancellation of the search for an executive director of government relations, University of Missouri System President Mun Choi announced today that Dustin Schnieders, chief of staff for Missouri State Senate President Pro Tem Ron Richard, has been appointed as the director of Government Relations for the UM System. He will begin his position on Nov. 1, 2017.

“Dustin is a product of public higher education in Missouri, and his experience and expertise are what we need moving forward,” Choi said. “He understands and has deep relationships with elected officials and the citizens of Missouri.”

Schnieders’ priorities include:

  • Developing a comprehensive program to rebuild relationships with elected officials and citizens of Missouri by
    • facilitating interactions with legislators, government officials and government agency staff.
    • playing a critical role in the development of recommendations, legislative request support materials, economic development information and other items related to the university’s state government relations activities. 
  • Coordinating with UM System and campus leaders to develop, prioritize and implement programs that support student success, breakthrough research and creative works, and effective engagement with Missouri citizens and organizations.
  • Monitoring the status of the university's legislative priorities, including tracking bills and committee hearings, and communicating regularly with university leaders and constituency groups. 

“I’m very excited to join the University of Missouri,” Schnieders said. “The university is extremely valuable to the state in so many ways. From research and economic development that create needed jobs to educating the future leaders of the state, the University of Missouri is pivotal to the future prosperity of the state. I’m looking forward to working with our legislators and helping university leaders ensure that the university’s priorities align with the state’s future success.”

Schnieders has an associate’s degree in general education from Forest Park Community College in St. Louis and a bachelor’s degree in political science from Lincoln University. He has served as chief of staff for Richard since November 2012. Prior to that, he worked for U.S. Senator Roy Blunt as a case worker and field representative. He also completed internships with Missouri Governor Matt Blunt and Missouri American Water.

Several Missouri legislators expressed their support for Schnieders’ appointment.

“Dusty has played a vital role in his position as chief of staff during my tenure as majority floor leader and president pro tem of the Senate,” Richard said. “In the last five years he has proven to be a dedicated team player to all members in the upper chamber and has worked on a multitude of difficult issues, navigating members through tough negotiations. While his presence will be missed, I know he will be an effective and valued addition to the University of Missouri System in his new position.”

“Dusty’s professionalism, integrity and deep understanding of the legislative process will be an asset to the University of Missouri System as they work with the General Assembly to secure the resources needed to prepare our future workforce,” said Missouri Sen. Gina Walsh, minority floor leader.

“Dusty is a great hire for the University of Missouri System,” said Missouri State Senator Mike Kehoe, who represents Missouri’s Senate District 6. “Dusty understands the legislature and has a proven track record of working with members from both sides of the aisle as well as with the executive branch. I am certain that Dusty will be a tremendous asset to Missouri’s flagship university, just as he was a tremendous asset to the Missouri Senate.”

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Editor’s note: Schneiders is pronounced “SCHNEE – ders.”