STARKVILLE, Miss. (WJTV) – The guest for Mississippi State University’s (MSU) 2022 Carlton N. Owen Lecture Series will be the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Under Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment, Homer Wilkes.

Wilkes, a Mississippi native and the first African American to hold this federal office, will lead the lecture on Friday, April 29 at 10:00 a.m. in the Tully Auditorium in Thompson Hall. 

“Dr. Wilkes has a unique perspective to share due to his myriad experiences in working lands conservation and coastal restoration that perfectly aligns with the intent of this lecture series. His ascent to a position of national leadership in natural resources conservation provides a model to which our students might aspire. We are so proud to welcome him back to campus for this special event,” said MSU President Mark E. Keenum.

Under Secretary Wilkes was appointed by President Joe Biden and confirmed by the Senate in February of this year. His work spans more than 40 years including his service as director of the Gulf of Mexico Ecosystem Restoration Division after the 2010 BP oil spill.