Joe Alexander is a central Illinois native and is a graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a degree in history. While in Champaign he was a student athlete competing for the Fighting Illini in track and field and cross country. Governmentally, he served in the office of former US Congressman Tom Ewing of Pontiac. He speaks on a range of issues and served as a sports commentator for the Big Ten Network and ESPN3. In the private sector he has a background in real estate and previously served as in a business development role with a central Illinois architecture and engineering firm. He spent a year with the Trump Pence campaign in 2015 and 2016. He joined the Administration at the US Department of Agriculture in January of 2017.