Mears, who confirmed her hiring Monday, said she will take the new role of chief legislative affairs officer. She starts Sept. 19.
Mears was chief of staff to Republican House Speakers Will Weatherford (2012-14) and Steve Crisafulli (2014-16).
At FSU, she will report to President John Thrasher, another former state lawmaker.
It’s a homecoming for Mears, who got both her undergraduate degree and master’s in public administration from FSU.
Mears also has been a top advisor to former Senate Presidents Ken Pruitt and Tom Lee, and was deputy chief of staff to former Republican Gov. Charlie Crist.
She also served as campaign communications director to Congressman Daniel Webster and was a vice president at On 3 Public Relations in Tallahassee.
“Kathy’s passion for public policy and academia makes her the perfect choice for President Thrasher and FSU,” said Christina Johnson, the firm’s president. “I am thrilled for her as she continues to achieve incredible milestones throughout her professional career.”