Gov. Phil Bryant announced today that he has appointed Mark McKee Director of the Mississippi Office of Homeland Security.

 McKee’s appointment is effective Oct. 10. He replaces Rusty Barnes, who recently retired.

 As Director of MOHS, McKee will oversee the agency that establishes, trains and equips strategically placed statewide response teams capable of responding to terrorist incidents and natural disasters. The MOHS is also responsible for critical asset identification, standardized incident response and overseeing the state’s fusion center, the Mississippi Analysis and Information Center.

 Since 2014, McKee has served as Resident Agent in Charge over Mississippi for the U.S. Secret Service. From 2004-2014, he was a Supervisory Special Agent in the Washington, DC, area over numerous investigative and protection assignments for the Secret Service. His law enforcement and military service spans nearly 30 years, starting in 1986 with the U.S. Coast Guard. He left the USCG in 1991 when he was commissioned a Special Agent with the U.S. Secret Service. He is a veteran of Operation Desert Storm.

 In 2007, McKee was sent on special assignment to Iraq, where he served as Supervisory Special Agent with a CENTCOM task force. There, he identified insurgent financiers and coordinated the actioning of those targets with U.S. Special Forces. He also served as an interrogator of enemy combatants and terrorist suspects.

 “Mark’s experience and proven leadership ability make him a perfect fit to take the helm at MOHS,” Gov. Bryant said. “I am confident he will serve the people of Mississippi well as he leads this critical agency, whose mission is to safeguard Mississippians. I am delighted he has accepted this appointment.”

 McKee graduated from the University of South Alabama in 1989, with a bachelor of arts in criminal justice administration. He completed advanced degree work in executive development programs at Johns Hopkins University and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

 “I was honored and humbled to be considered for such an important job by Gov. Bryant, and I am looking forward to a new and rewarding career supporting the law enforcement community of Mississippi,” McKee said. “I will be bringing almost 30 years of military and government experience to this new position, which I will apply to provide a safer environment that will benefit all Mississippians.”

 McKee and his wife live in Madison. They have three children.