Tom Vilsack, former U.S. secretary of agriculture under President Barack Obama, is joining Colorado State University on a part-time advisory basis to work on CSU's role in Denver's National Western Center redevelopment project at the city's stock show site.

Also joining CSU will be his wife, educator and literacy advocate Christie Vilsack.

"With strengths in agriculture, water and innovation, Denver and Colorado are poised to play a critical role in the global challenges we face today, such as how to make the best use of our water and how to feed a growing population," Denver Mayor Michael Hancock said today in a statement.

"The National Western Center will be a launching point for tackling these critical issues facing communities worldwide, and Tom and Christie Vilsack, as national leaders, will bring notable leadership and expertise to the pressing matters we're seeking to make progress on," Hancock added.

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