Chris Dunn

Chris Dunn

Aug. 20, 2021–Dr. Elizabeth Kennedy, president of Missouri Western State University, has named Chris Dunn as the University’s chief of staff. Dunn is currently chief of staff for Missouri House Budget Committee Chairman Rep. Cody Smith of Carthage.

“Chris will be a tremendous leader on our campus, and his wealth of experience in Jefferson City will be a great asset in working with our partners at all levels of government,” Dr. Kennedy said.  

“I am excited to come home to northwest Missouri and become part of the Missouri Western family,” Dunn said. “In partnership with others, I hope to strengthen the impact of the university in the community and the state using my military, legislative, and private sector experience.”

Dunn also served as chief of staff to two previous House Budget Committee Chairmen, Rep. Scott Fitzpatrick and Rep. Tom Flanigan, as well as 34th District State Sen. Rob Schaaf of St. Joseph. He was also a public information specialist in House Communications and a legislative aide to House Speaker Rep. Rod Jetton as well as Majority Caucus Secretary Rep. Marilyn Ruestman. 

Dunn was also a social sciences instructor at the State Technical College of Missouri in Linn, and served in the United States Air Force. He has a bachelor’s degree in history with a minor in political science from Northwest Missouri State University.

At Missouri Western, Dunn will be a senior adviser to the president, working closely with key internal and external stakeholders, including local, state and federal government officials. The position is responsible for strategic oversight of selected presidential initiatives and special projects and directs and coordinates sensitive and confidential project management support for the President. He will oversee staff and daily operations of the Office of the President, which includes the Center for Military and Veterans Services, the Center for Service and the Center for Workforce Development.

Dunn will begin his duties at Missouri Western Sept. 21.

Missouri Western State University is a student-centered learning community preparing individuals for lives of excellence through applied learning. Missouri Western is located in St. Joseph, Mo., and is committed to the educational, economic, cultural and social development of the region it serves. Visit