Dr. Leah Cox Ritchie

Assistant Vice Provost Emeritus
Michigan State University

Focus Areas

Higher Education
Youth Development
Youth Development


Leah Cox Ritchie is nationally recognized as a human and youth development researcher and programmer. Before retiring from Michigan State University Extension as associate director emeritus for Children, Youth and Family Programs, she led the programmatic merger of family and consumer sciences and 4-H youth development to ensure that MSU Extension was meeting the needs of communities across the lifecycle. She returned to Michigan State in 1989 to assume the position of assistant vice provost and associate director of Extension after serving as deputy administrator for 4-H Youth Development Education at the United States Department of Agriculture. For 15 years before going to Washington, she was a state 4-H program leader and researcher. Her career has included serving as a county 4-H youth agent in Tennessee and Florida. Ritchie has served on a number of national boards and executive committees. She served for 10 years on the Michigan Council on Children and Youth. Her contributions to the youth and human development fields have been honored with the USDA Administrator’s Award of Excellence, the Who’s Who in American Education Award, selection as a National Kellogg Fellow, the National 4-H Distinguished Service Award and the USDA Superior Service Awards, among many others.