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Liberty welcomes former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo as Distinguished Chair

Liberty University has announced the appointment of 70th U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo as Distinguished Chair of the Helms School of Government. Pompeo will work to advance Liberty’s distinct Christian mission from his extensive leadership experience and expertise in public policy, international relations, and national security. While his role officially began with the university on Sept. 1, this public announcement came upon his return to Liberty’s Convocation stage and as a keynote speaker at Liberty’s third annual CEO Summit.

“Mike Pompeo has served our country with honor and distinction as a tank platoon leader during the Cold War, as a successful business leader, as a member of Congress, as the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, and as our 70th Secretary of State,” said Liberty President Dondi Costin. “More importantly, his faith in Jesus Christ and his love and devotion as a husband and father make him a true Champion for Christ and a role model for our students. We are proud to welcome Mike Pompeo to the Liberty University family as a distinguished chair for the Helms School of Government.”

“I am grateful for the leadership and the deep abiding faith of former Secretary Mike Pompeo. He has a reputation for being servant-hearted, and he brings a long history of excellence and distinction that is key to his new role in the Helms School of Government,” said Liberty Provost and Chief Academic Officer Scott Hicks. “Our students will greatly benefit from his leadership, wisdom, and experience.”

Secretary Pompeo said he is looking forward to serving Liberty’s student body and building relationships with faculty, staff, alumni, and friends of the university across the country.

“I am honored to join Liberty University and thrilled to work with the Helms School of Government. Nothing is more important to our nation’s future than the proper education of young Americans. Liberty’s mission, to promote academic excellence while fostering a love for Jesus Christ and a commitment to Christian life, is one in which I believe deeply, and I am looking forward to contributing to it in the days ahead.”

Pompeo joins Liberty after a successful career as a public servant. Graduating first in his class at the United States Military Academy at West Point with a degree in mechanical engineering in 1986, Pompeo served as a cavalry officer for five years with the 2nd Squadron, 7th Cavalry in the US Army’s Fourth Infantry Division. He is a graduate of Harvard Law School, where he was editor of the Harvard Law Review. Before entering politics, Pompeo founded Thayer Aerospace, a specialized aircraft machinery manufacturer, where he served as CEO for more than a decade. He later became president of Sentry International, an oilfield equipment manufacturing, distribution, and service company.

Pompeo entered politics in 2010 when he was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives for Kansas’ 4th Congressional District, where he served from 2011-2017. He was a member of the House Intelligence, Energy and Commerce, and House Select Benghazi committees. Pompeo was appointed director of the CIA in 2017 and was sworn in as the 70th secretary of state in April 2018. As secretary of state, he developed a fierce defensive posture for religious liberty on an international scale, making religious freedom a top priority in U.S. foreign policy for the first time in America’s history.

Pompeo has made several visits to Liberty’s campus, most recently as the keynote speaker at the Equity for Africa summit in Spring 2021, where he recognized faith principles as the propellant for economic growth across Africa. He also spoke to students at a special Military Appreciation Convocation that fall and joined Liberty’s Debate Team in a virtual session from the Department of State in 2020 for a conversation and question-and-answer session centered on the alliances and partnerships during his time as secretary.

Mike Pompeo’s new book, “Never Give an Inch: Fighting for the America I Love,” released in January, includes stories from his heart detailing his time as Secretary of State and CIA Director and was named a New York Times bestseller.

Mike has been married to Susan for over 22 years. Together, they have one son, Nick. Last year, the Pompeos were thrilled to see their family grow when Nick married Rachael. The Pompeos are firmly committed to the Gospel of Jesus Christ and dedicated to local church ministry. Mike has served as both a deacon and a 5th-grade Sunday School teacher. Mike and Susan also have two retrievers, Sherman and Mercer, each named after two very important generals in American history.

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