Keith Heard is President of Key Impact Strategies with offices in Washington, DC and Jackson, Mississippi and a Senior Policy Advisor for the National Rural Water Association. He formerly served as Chief of Staff to U.S. Senator Thad Cochran, Chairman of Senate Appropriations. Keith previously served in executive roles with the National Cotton Council and the National Corn Growers Association.
In 2016 he was named to "Mississippi's Top 50," a list of the most influential Mississippians for shaping business, politics and public policy.
His father, Sam Heard - better known as "Big Tiny" - was one of the founders of the Republican Party in Noxubee County, Mississippi. His brother Sam Heard, Jr. - you guessed it, "Little Tiny" - ran for Noxubee Sheriff.
Keith earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in history from Mississippi State University but quickly shifted into politics working for the Mississippi Republican Party and then on the 1978 Senate campaign for then Congressman Thad Cochran. After that victory, Keith served as one of Cochran's first Senate staffers.
He served as Regional Director for Dole for President in 1987-1988; served as an alternate delegate to the 1988 convention; and in 2016 he was a delegate to the Republican National Convention from Mississippi for Donald Trump. He is a longtime member of the Mississippi Republican Party Executive Committee and has served as Chairman of the Mississippi United Republican Fund and Chairman of the MSGOP First Congressional District Caucus.
From 1985-1989 he served in an executive role with the National Cotton Council and moved to the National Corn Growers as Executive Vice President for Government Affairs from 1989-1996. He then launched a career as a contract lobbyist with a wide array of clients including the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians. He also served as a senior policy advisor for Nossaman LLP.
in 2014, Cochran asked Keith to return to his office as his new chief-of-staff. Over the next year, Keith melded his understanding of “Cochran world” with his experiences in the private sector to set an aggressive tone for Cochran’s priorities.
In 2017, Keith returned to the private sector. As President of Key Impact Strategies, with offices in Washington, DC and Jackson, MS, Keith is excited about representing a select group of clients in multiple industries. Keith and his wife, Chrissy, have four grown children and reside in Columbus, Mississippi.