Dr. Douglas Steele was appointed to his current position on January 2, 2019. Through collaborative partnerships with member institutions the office of Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources) focuses on broad cross-cutting issues related to agriculture, food and fiber, forestry, human sciences, natural resources (ecology, fish and wildlife, forestry, mineral resources and water resources), oceans and atmosphere, and veterinary medicine. APLU, through the Board on Agriculture Assembly (BAA), advocates yearly on behalf of agricultural research, extension, and education funding. The BAA is also heavily involved in advocating for beneficial language regarding university priorities in each Farm Bill. The BAA also maintains vigilance over federal agency implementation of relevant legislation and responds to legislative and administrative issues as they arise.
Prior positions and appointments include: Director of the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service 2012-2018 and Vice President for External Relations and Director of Extension for Montana State University from 2004 to 2012. Steele previously held Extension and faculty positions at Colorado State University, where he was assistant director and State 4‐H Program leader, and at Purdue University, where he served as an Extension specialist and assistant professor in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction. From 1981 to 1992, he held various Extension positions within The Texas A&M University System, including Extension agent, county director, and Extension specialist.
Dr. Steele has been active on the national level having served as chair of the Extension Committee on Organization and Policy (ECOP), the ECOP Budget and Legislative Committee and national BAA Policy Board of Directors. He has previously served as Chair of the National 4-H Congress Board of Directors, Trustee for National 4-H Council, officer of the eXtension Foundation Executive Committee and Co-chair of the ECOP Marketing and Communications Task Force. He has presented at several national and regional conferences on such topics as leadership, innovation and the role of a 21st century land-grant university. Throughout his career he has received over 10 million dollars in funding to support curriculum development, rural development work and engagement activities.
Some awards of distinction Dr. Steele has received include the Visionary Leadership Award, Montana State University Extension; the F. A. Anderson Distinguished Service Award, Colorado State University; Texans Caring for Texans honoree, National Friend of Family and Consumer Sciences and the Superior Service Award for Excellence, United States Department of Agriculture. Doug believes in the power of the Land-Grant University to provide access and affordability to higher education, increase the profitability of agricultural enterprises and transform families, youth and communities.
Dr. Steele has a Bachelor of Science degree in Animal Science/Agri Business from Panhandle State University, Goodwell, OK, a Master of Agriculture degree in agronomy from West Texas State University, Canyon, TX and a doctor of philosophy degree in Educational Human Resource Development from Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas.
Doug and his wife, Lori, reside in Bowie, MD have four grown children and one grandchild.