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About MISSISSIPPI LIFETRACKS
 
Mississippi LifeTracks is designed to help meet data needs for reporting requirements and to answer critical policy questions relevant to education, workforce, and economic development. Moving the state beyond patchwork data sharing, Mississippi LifeTracks is an interoperable data system that securely and efficiently facilitates research and analysis and provides linkages between early childhood, K-12, postsecondary education, and the workforce. Mississippi LifeTracks will enhance the ability of the state, local school districts, schools, and teachers to make data-driven decisions for student improvement. It will also enhance the state’s ability to link, match, and share education and workforce data leading to an enriched ability within the state to improve career-readiness outcomes and enhance success in the economy.
Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant www.governorbryant.com
Mississippi’s economic future depends on its educational success, and I am committed to strengthening both. LifeTracks can unlock tremendous insights that will help us make informed decisions about education improvement and workforce development in Mississippi as we work toward a brighter future for our children and our state. ~ Governor Phil Bryant

Board Members
 
John Davis

John Davis - Vice Chair

Executive Director
MS Department of Human Services

John Davis is executive director of the Mississippi Department of Human Services. Davis is a native Mississippian with almost 25 years of experience in human services. At MDHS, he has served as deputy administrator, division director of economic assistance, and state operations director. He was also the director of the Lincoln County Department of Human Services. He received a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Southern Mississippi and a master’s degree in leadership from Belhaven University.
Thomas Dobbs

Thomas Dobbs

State Health Officer
MS Department of Health

Thomas Dobbs, M.D., M.P.H., is currently State Health Officer with the Mississippi State Department of Health. Dr. Dobbs served as Epidemiologist and Deputy State Health Officer. He is an Infectious Diseases physician by training, with experience in public health, private practice, hospital administration and academics. In addition to his role at the Department of Health, Dr. Dobbs is an Associate Professor at the UMMC School of Population Health, teaching courses in Epidemiology and Health Policy.
Mary Graham

Dr. Mary Graham

President
Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College

Dr. Mary Graham was named the president of Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College in 2011. A native of Mississippi, Dr. Graham earned her Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration from The University of Southern Mississippi (USM); her Master’s and Bachelor’s Degrees are from USM as well. As an MGCCC graduate and alumna, she embraces the philosophy of the community college and the rich tradition of excellence in education. Since beginning her career in 1987 on the Jackson County Campus of MGCCC, she has held several administrative positions within the college including Director of Admissions/Registrar, Director of Institutional Relations and Vice President of Community Campus. Dr. Graham also served as the Vice President of the Perkinston Campus for 13 years prior to being named President of the second largest community college in Mississippi.
Pelicia Hall

Pelicia Hall

Commissioner
MS Department of Corrections

Pelicia Hall is commissioner of the Mississippi Department of Corrections. Gov. Phil Bryant named her to the position after making her interim commissioner in January 2017. Hall previously served as chief of staff to then-MDOC Commissioner Marshall Fisher. She is also former lead counsel for the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics. She has 16 years of legal experience in the government and private sectors in a wide variety of disciplines. She has litigated cases in both federal and state courts. She has served as a special assistant U.S. Attorney with the U.S. Attorney’s Office and as a special assistant attorney general with the Office of the Attorney General. She assumed the state attorney position after six years with the private law firm of Page, Kruger & Holland, and P.A. in Jackson, where she litigated cases involving personal injury claims, employment discrimination, contract disputes, products liability, premises liability, insurance coverage, and general tort litigation. She learned about both civil and criminal matters as a law clerk for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Mississippi and Hinds County Circuit Court. She clerked two years for Circuit Judge Tomie Green. She is a graduate of the Mississippi College School of Law, where she was the recipient of the American Jurisprudence Award in Real Estate Finance & Development. She earned a bachelor of arts degree from Alcorn State University, where she graduated cum laude in political science. She is admitted to practice in Mississippi and before the U.S. Court of Appeals and the U.S. District Court. She is a member of the Mississippi Bar Association, National Bar Association, Magnolia Bar Association, Capital Area Bar Association, Mississippi Women Lawyers Association, and American Bar Association. Hall is a Wayne County native who grew up in Shubuta, a small community south of Meridian. She comes from a family of educators and entrepreneurs.
Chris Howard

Chris Howard

Executive Director
MS Dept of Rehabilitation Services

Chris Howard is the executive director of the Mississippi Department of Rehabilitation Services. He has also served as the MDRS’s director of internal audit, director of financial management, deputy administrator, and deputy executive director. Prior to his career at MDRS, he was an audit supervisor at the Mississippi Office of the State Auditor. He received a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Mississippi State University. He is also a graduate of the John C. Stennis Institute of Government’s State Executive Development Leadership Institute, the Certified Public Manager’s Program, and the National Rehabilitation Leadership Institute.
Andrea Mayfield

Andrea Mayfield

Executive Director
Mississippi Community College Board

Dr. Andrea Mayfield serves as executive director of the Mississippi Community College Board. She previously served as president of Shelton State Community College in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. She worked at East Mississippi Community College for more than 18 years, serving as a biological sciences instructor, e-learning coordinator, e-learning dean, dean of instruction, vice president for instruction, vice president for institutional research and effectiveness, and vice president of the Scooba Campus. She has also served as a member of the Board of Trustees for the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC); Board of Directors of the Chamber of Commerce in Tuscaloosa, Alabama; and Board of Directors for the Industrial Development Authority in Alabama. Her service as a Rotarian, member of the Tuscaloosa Business Exchange, and Region 3 Workforce Development Council Steering Committee member illustrates her commitment to workforce and economic development. She received a bachelor’s of science from Livingston University, a master’s degree in teaching biological sciences from the University of West Alabama, and a doctorate in educational leadership with a special emphasis in the administration of higher education from Mississippi State University.
Glenn McCullough 

Glenn McCullough

Executive Director
Mississippi Development Authority

Glenn McCullough is executive director of the Mississippi Development Authority, appointed to the post in May 2015 by Gov. Phil Bryant. He oversees approximately 300 MDA employees who provide support for communities, businesses, industries and leaders in Mississippi. McCullough is a former chairman of the Tennessee Valley Authority. During his tenure with TVA, the utility earned national recognition for its economic development efforts and launched its megasite program to attract major industry to Northeast Mississippi, including Toyota Motor Manufacturing. He also led the Appalachian Regional Commission for four years, promoting sustainable communities and economic development. Elected mayor of Tupelo in 1997, McCullough was in charge when Tupelo was named an All-America City by the National Civic League. McCullough is nationally recognized as a business leader and economic developer. He has appeared on Fox Business Network, Bloomberg, and RT (Russian television network), has been published in the Wall Street Journal, and has appeared in the Washington Post, Financial Times, and American Executive Magazine. McCullough holds a bachelor’s degree in agricultural economics from Mississippi State University. He and his wife Laura have two sons and two granddaughters.
Alfred Rankins Jr.

Alfred Rankins Jr.

Commissioner of Higher Education
MS Institutions of Higher Learning

Dr. Alfred Rankins Jr. serves as commissioner of higher education and provides leadership to the university system, including all eight public universities in Mississippi. Prior to being named commissioner of higher education, he served as the 19th president of Alcorn State University. Under his leadership, the university excelled in academics and athletics and was noted nationally for its commitment to the student experience. Before serving as president of ASU, he served as deputy commissioner for the Institutions of Higher Learning. While serving as deputy commissioner, he also served as acting president of Mississippi Valley State University. Prior to joining the IHL staff, he was a tenured associate professor in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Mississippi State University and an extension specialist with the MSU Extension Service. A native of Greenville, he received a bachelor’s degree from ASU and both a master’s degree and doctorate from MSU.
Laurie Smith 

Laurie Smith

Education and Workforce Development Policy Advisor
Office of Governor Phil Bryant

Executive Director
State Early Childhood Advisory Council

Dr. Laurie Smith serves as Education Policy Advisor to Governor Phil Bryant and Executive Director of the State Early Childhood Advisory Council. She holds a bachelor's degree in education from University of Arizona, a master's degree in teaching with an endorsement in science from Western New Mexico University, and a doctorate in curriculum instruction and higher education administration from Mississippi State University. Prior to joining Governor Bryant’s staff, Smith served as Executive Director of Mississippi Building Blocks, a $10 million business-led initiative focused on researching best practices in early childhood education. She has also worked with the Mississippi Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning, where she served in the Commissioner’s Office, and has served Mississippi State University as Director of State Initiatives for the Early Childhood Institute and as an adjunct faculty member in the College of Education. Dr. Smith also served as a member of the senior management team in the Office of President at Mississippi State. She has more than 20 years of experience in education, research, and teaching.
Jackie Turner

Jackie Turner

Executive Director
MS Department of Employment Security

Jackie Turner is executive director of the Mississippi Department of Employment Security. Turner has 27 years of experience at MDES. At MDES, she has served as deputy executive director since 2013. She serves on the State Workforce Investment Board and on the National Association of State Workforce Agencies Board of Directors as Treasurer and Equal Opportunity Chair. Turner earned a bachelor's degree in professional accountancy from Mississippi State University.
Carey Wright

Carey Wright

State Superintendent of Education
MS Department of Education

Dr. Carey Wright is State Superintendent of Education of the Mississippi Department of Education. She has more than 35 years of experience in education. Wright was formerly the President/CEO of the Wright Approach Consulting. She has served as Chief Academic Officer for the District of Columbia Public Schools as well as Deputy Chief for the Office of Teaching and Learning. From 2003 to 2009, Wright served as the Associate Superintendent for the Office of Special Education and Student Services for the Montgomery County Public Schools in Maryland. She spent the majority of her career in Howard County Public Schools in Maryland where she was a teacher, principal, and the Director of Special Education and Student Services. She graduated from the University of Maryland,College Park.
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