Mark Killian has been involved in Arizona State government since 1983. District 30 voters first elected him to the Arizona House of Representatives at the young age of 27. He quickly went to work and represented his district very well as the Vice Chairman of the Agriculture Committee. A few years later he became the Chairman of the Public Institutions committee and two years later he earned Chairman of the Ways and Means committee. After his work on those committees, Representatives elected him Republican Majority Leader. In 1992 Mr. Killian earned their support and became Speaker of the House; he served in that capacity for two terms. While in his leadership positions, he was awarded the Republican Legislator of the year award and recognized as the Public Official of the year by Governing Magazine. After 14 years in the Arizona House of Representatives, Governor Fife Symington appointed him to serve as the Director of the Arizona Department of Revenue where he served as its director for almost 6 years.
In 2010 Governor Jan Brewer appointed Mr. Killian as a member of the Arizona Board of Regents. During his 5-year term, he served as Board Chair, Vice Chair and Treasurer.
In April 2015 Governor Doug Ducey appointed Mr. Killian the director of the Department of Agriculture. Mr. Killian was the prime sponsor of the legislation the created the Arizona Department of Agriculture in the early 1990s while serving in the Arizona Legislature.
Mr. Killian comes from a family that has been involved in Agriculture in Arizona for more than 100 years. His family farming and ranching operations spanned Colorado, New Mexico, Kentucky and California. Currently the Killian family is farming 1500 acres land in Pinal County, Arizona and ranching in Graham and Cochise counties in Arizona. The ranching operations runs cattle on 160,000 acers of land with a cow herd of 500. Mr. Killian also owns and operates a registered Angus cattle herd that produces bulls for the family ranching operation and markets to local ranchers in Arizona.
He not only works in agriculture, but he and his brother own and operate a commercial real estate brokerage; Mr. Killian has been a licensed real estate broker in Arizona for almost 35 years specializing in the management of shopping centers and the development of small suburban office buildings.
Mr. Killian is also the chairman of the Green Reservoir Flood Control District and the Chairman of the Lower Santa Cruz River Alliance.
He has also been active in the Boy Scouts of America earning his Eagle Scout Award and serving in many youth and adult leadership positions.
He is married to his wife Nancy (Nancy comes from a long time farming family in Arizona) for 40 years and they have six children and 14 grandchildren.
Mr. Killian earned his Bachelor’s Degree in business administration with a specialization of real estate and urban planning from Arizona State University in 1981.
Deputy Director of the Department of Agriculture
Jeff Grant, our new Deputy Director, was born in Kansas, but moved to Arizona in 1967 when he was
7 years old. He graduated from Sunnyslope High School and Arizona State University. Jeff married his high school sweetheart Elizabeth. They have 3 children--Alex 24, Jake 18 and Katie 17.
Jeff started his state government career in 1987 when he was hired at the Arizona House of Representatives to staff the Public Institutions Committee. He went on to serve as the Special Assistant to the Majority Leader and Chief of Staff for Speaker Mark Killian.
In 1997, Jeff moved to the Arizona Department of Revenue where he served as Deputy Director to Director Mark Killian.
From 2004-2007 Jeff served as the Director of Programs and Advocacy for the Arizona State University Alumni Association.
In 2007, Jeff became the Director of the Corporations Division at the Arizona Corporation Commission where he served until 2011 when he was named the Deputy Director at the Arizona Department of Administration.
Jeff enjoys spending quality time with his family and just recently went from being an avid ASU fan to cheering on the University of Utah where his son Jake will be attending college on a football scholarship and will be playing college football for the Utes. His daughter Katie will be a senior next year at Horizon High School and is being recruited by a number of colleges to play basketball. Alex is attending college at Yavapai Community College in Prescott and is working on his degree in Psychology.