Dr. Drake Owens named executive vice president of External Affairs at Northwestern State

Dr. Drake Owens has been named executive vice president of External Affairs at Northwestern State University, according to NSU President Marcus Jones. His appointment has been approved by the Board of Supervisors for the University of Louisiana System. Owens has served as interim vice president since last November. 

Owens will oversee the areas of Public Information and Media Relations, NSU Press Publications, University Advancement and Alumni Affairs, the Robert W. Wilson Recreation Complex and Economic Development, Innovation and Outreach. 

“Dr. Owens’ extensive experience, valuable expertise, and unwavering commitment to Northwestern State University make him an excellent fit for the role of executive vice president of External Affairs,” said Northwestern State President Dr. Marcus Jones. “During his seven-year tenure as assistant vice president of External Affairs, Dr. Owens has demonstrated exceptional leadership in fostering strong relationships with legislators, alumni, and the Natchitoches community. His efforts have been instrumental in promoting academic excellence throughout Louisiana and upholding the university’s cherished traditions, values and vision for the future.” 

Owens said his focus will be on expanding the university’s fundraising efforts and enhancing Northwestern State’s role in economic development. 

 “We will be expanding our traditional fundraising model by promoting a variety of creative and engaging giving opportunities and promoting mutually beneficial donor relationships,” said Owens. “The university will work to solidify our role as an economic engine for the region by prioritizing workforce development and seeking out meaningful public/private partnerships. Northwestern has a rich history of tradition, family, service and perseverance. It is an amazing story to tell. NSU is primed and ready for the future with vast potential for growth and expansion.” 

Owens has been a full-time staff member at Northwestern for nearly 14 years. He has been assistant vice president of External Affairs for University Advancement since 2015. Owens was assistant director of Alumni and Development from 2006 to 2008 and director of University Advancement from 2008 to 2012. 

He was an asset manager for Aliign Minerals Management, LLC for two years and has experience in mineral asset and wealth management, legal analysis, policy development, construction management and disaster relief. 

Owens serves as executive director of the Mary R. Gallaspy Charitable Trust #2. He is a member of the Natchitoches Rotary Club, the Natchitoches Historic District Commission and the NSU Alumni Association. Owens was a 10-year member of the Natchitoches Area Jaycees. 

He is a member of professional organizations including the National Association of College and University Attorneys, the American Bar Association, the Louisiana State Bar Association, the National Association of Royalty Owners, the Council for Advancement and Support of Education and the Association of Louisiana Alumni Executives. 

Owens earned a bachelor’s degree in biology and a master’s in sports administration from Northwestern State. He received a law degree from Loyola University and a doctorate in educational administration from the University of New Orleans.  

Owens and his wife Courtney have two children, Miller and Bailey.