Keith Pickus was born in Los Angeles, California, where he completed his K-12 education in the L.A. public school system. Professor Pickus earned a Bachelor of Arts in History with Honors from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 1983 and, during his senior year, he studied German language and history at Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland. Pickus was awarded a Master of Arts in modern German History from the University of Washington in 1988; he received an "Inter-Israeli University Fellowship," to attend the Hebrew University in Jerusalem during the 1988-89 academic year, and he completed his doctoral program in modern European Jewish History at the University of Washington in June, 1993. His doctoral dissertation focused on the topic of Jewish identity in 19th century Germany, a project that required him to conduct research in Israel, Germany and New York.
Keith Pickus' professional academic career began in 1991 as a lecturer in modern European, German and Jewish History at the University of Washington. During the 1994-95 academic year he was a visiting assistant professor at Montana State University, and he assumed a tenure-track position in the History Department at Wichita State University in 1995. Pickus was tenured and promoted to Associate Professor in the fall, 2001. His formal administrative career began in 2000 when he took on the role of Graduate Program Coordinator for the History department. He served as the Associate Dean for the Fairmount College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (2001-07) and the Associate Provost for Strategic Planning and Operations (2007-2011). Pickus was named Interim Provost in June, 2011.
Keith Pickus is the sole author of two books and a contributing author to a third. He has published nine scholarly essays, eleven book reviews and he has made numerous conference and public presentations.
He is married to Deirdre O'Farrell, and they have three children, Maeve, Lila and Claire.