Pearl resident selected for MEC’s Leadership Mississippi

Updated: Apr 4, 2020

Dr. Mitchell Shears, Associate Vice President for Student Success/Executive Director of Title III at Jackson State University, was one of forty-eight standout Mississippians to be selected for the 2020 Class of Mississippi Economic Council's (MEC) Leadership Mississippi.

Leadership Mississippi is an annual program of the MEC conducted by the M.B. Swayze Foundation. Participants, selected by a committee of MEC’s Leadership Mississippi Alumni, work together in a training program that combines individual study, group sessions and project experience in using leadership skills. Leadership Mississippi is endowed through a generous contribution by the late J.C. and Annie Redd. J.C. Redd was

Chairman of the Mississippi Economic Council in 1973-74 when the program began.

Leadership Mississippi is the second-oldest statewide leadership program in the nation. Since its inception in 1974, Leadership Mississippi has graduated more than 1,300 alumni active in Mississippi business and politics. Mississippi's top business executives, community leaders, and elected officials have participated in Leadership Mississippi as a way to expand their networks and possibilities for future success.

Leadership Mississippi’s purpose is to identify and work with Mississippi leaders in strengthening our state. Leadership Mississippi empowers participants with information to make a strong impact in our state.

The 2020 Leadership Mississippi sessions begins on February 6, in Jackson. When the class graduates in December 2020, they will have visited Southaven, Mississippi Gulf Coast, Clarksdale and Hattiesburg.

Shears, of Pearl, is a two time graduate of Alcorn State University (ASU) where he received the bachelor’s and master’s degrees and Mississippi College where he received the education specialist and doctor of education degrees.

He is a member of the ASU National Alumni Association (Metro-Jackson Chapter), the Jackson Alumni Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc., and JSU National Alumni Association (Byram-Terry Chapter). Some of his accolades include being named 2010 Administrator of the Year for Jackson Public Schools, 2017 Mississippi Business Journal Top 40 Under 40 Top Ten Finalist, and 2018 ASU National Alumni Association Professional Achievement Award.

Shears has served in public education for twenty years and has been awarded over $15 million in external grants to supplement educational programs in higher education.

If you are interested in participating in the 2021 class of Leadership Mississippi, applications will begin late August 2020. Visit for more information.

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