Chief legal affairs officer named

Jeff Milsteen
Jeff Milsteen named chief legal affairs officer

Top-level personnel changes bring experience and leadership to University

KENNESAW, Ga. (Jan 10, 2017) — Kennesaw State University President Sam Olens has announced several changes to his executive leadership team.

Jeff Milsteen has been named the University’s chief legal affairs officer, Lectra Lawhorne will serve as chief information officer and Julie Peterson has been appointed chief business officer. Each will report directly to the president and serve as a cabinet-level member. All three appointments are effective immediately.

Milsteen previously served as chief deputy attorney general of Georgia for 19 years, where he was responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations of the Georgia Department of Law. In this position, he also served as the principal advisor to the attorney general on all legal and administrative matters. 

“It is with pleasure that I welcome Jeff Milsteen to Kennesaw State,” said Olens. “Having worked with Jeff in Georgia’s Office of the Attorney General for many years, his extensive public service background and leadership experience will be a coveted asset to the University.”

In his new role, Milsteen will be responsible for overseeing all legal affairs of the institution and advising the University’s senior leadership on both legal matters and business issues affected by legal considerations.

“I am very honored and excited to join the KSU family,” Milsteen said. “I look forward to working with a team of professionals dedicated to advancing the goals of the University under the leadership of President Sam Olens.”   

Milsteen earned his law degree from Emory University School of Law and his bachelor’s degree in political science from Johns Hopkins University. He is admitted to practice law before the United States Supreme Court, as well as all federal and state trial and appellate courts in Georgia.

Julie PetersonPeterson, who was selected to serve as chief business officer, was named to the interim role in June 2016. Previously, she served as controller in the University’s Office of Finance and Accounting. A certified public accountant, Peterson earned a bachelor’s degree in operations management from the University of Missouri-Columbia and a master’s degree in accounting from KSU. She has worked for educational institutions for more than 20 years, including Southern Polytechnic State University, Fort Valley State University and the University of Texas-San Antonio. She first joined Kennesaw State in 2000.

Lectra LawhorneLawhorne was named chief information officer also having served in an interim role since June.

Previously, she was associate chief information officer and associate vice president for University Information Technology Services. She will be responsible for the strategic vision of the UITS division, forecasting and analyzing institutional needs and appropriate IT resource allocations and alignment. A Kennesaw State graduate, Lawhorne earned a master’s in information systems and a bachelor’s degree in computer science and mathematics. She joined Kennesaw State in 1999.


A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its nearly 43,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the country and the world. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit