Steve Johnston, director of the Community Alliance of St. Joseph, was named director of external relations at Missouri Western and began his duties Jan. 3. He replaces Brandt Shields, who left in August 2018.

As director of external relations, Johnston will serve on the president’s cabinet and is responsible for building and sustaining strong and positive relationships with government officials, policy makers and University advocates.

Johnston has served as director of the Community Alliance since 2009. He is chair of the Heartland Foundation Board and a member of the United Way of Greater St. Joseph and Missouri Western Foundation Boards. He has served as Buchanan County chair of Great Northwest Day at the Capitol.

Prior to joining the Community Alliance, Johnston worked at Wire Rope Corporation of America, Inc., for more than 20 years.

Johnston received a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Kansas State University.