Susan Ballabina, Ph.D., is the chief external affairs officer and senior vice president for academic and strategic collaborations for Texas A&M University. President M. Katherine Banks appointed her to this role in September 2022, after Ballabina had served as vice president for academic and strategic collaborations since September 2021.
She leads all marketing and communications, as well as all community impact programs and initiatives for the university. In addition to oversight of the Marketing and Communications Department, Ballabina oversees the Division for Academic and Strategic Collaborations, which includes Undergraduate Recruitment and Admissions, Economic Development and Community Impact, Global Engagement, Leadership and Engagement, Campus and Community Sustainability Initiatives, as well as cultural and arts focused units that enrich the campus and community.
Ballabina began her career with AgriLife Extension in 1994, serving as an agent in Cherokee, Williamson, Upshur, and Dallas counties and later as a regional program director. In 2013, she became AgriLife Extension’s associate director for program development and moved to the executive associate director position for the agency in 2016.
From 2018 to 2021, Ballabina served as deputy vice chancellor and chief operating officer for Texas A&M AgriLife and associate deputy dean for administration for the College of Agriculture & Life Sciences. In these roles, she led initiatives for improved organizational effectiveness within the college and provided oversight for AgriLife professional services divisions.
She received her bachelor’s degree in family and consumer sciences from Tarleton State University in 1994, a master’s degree in communications from Stephen F. Austin State University in 1998, and her doctorate in public affairs from the University of Texas at Dallas in 2007.
Ballabina was named a Regents Fellow by The Texas A&M University System in 2014 and has received the Superior Service Award from AgriLife Extension four times. Tarleton State University’s College of Agriculture and Natural Resources has recognized her as a distinguished alumna.