Former agriculture secretary, U.S. congressman Mike Espy first ‘scholar-in-residence’ for Institute of Government

2014.3.21 Mike Espy at Institute of Govenment-9724Former U.S. Agriculture Secretary Mike Espy will lead a discussion from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on March 27 in the Mississippi Public Broadcasting auditorium, located at Universities Center at 3825 Ridgewood Road.  The topic will be “Reflections: 20 Years a Public Servant.”

The panelists are former Clinton Mayor Rosemary Aultman, state Rep. Lataisha Jackson, Cassio Battest of JSU’s Urban and Regional Planning and Dr. Julie Schroeder, an associate professor in JSU’s School of Social Work. The facilitator is Sylvester Murray, visiting professor of Public Policy and Administration.

“Mike Espy has a wealth of political and government knowledge to share with the institute’s audience. His public service career spans local, state and federal government,” said Dr. Otha Burton, executive director of the Institute of Government.

Espy was featured in the first “Scholar-in-Residence” Symposium sponsored by Jackson State University’s Institute of Government in collaboration with the College of Liberal Arts and the College of Public Service on March 20, on the JSU campus.

The topic was “Political Dysfunction: Effects on Economic Trade and America’s Standing in the World.” The event included the following panelists: Kiyadh Burt and Mario Musgrove of the Department of Political Science; Kendrick Kirby and Sergio Para of the College of Business; Travis Ballard, Demondrey Singleton, Charlene Thompson and Precious Vines of the College of Liberal Arts. The facilitator was Dr. Rickey Hill, chair of the Department of Political Science.

Espy currently has his own firms, Mike Espy PLLC and AE Agritrade, Inc. He also serves as counsel to Morgan & Morgan PLLC, the nation’s largest plaintiff’s law firm, and as county attorney for Madison County, Miss.

Espy was elected as the first African-American U.S. congressman from Mississippi since the Reconstruction Era, serving from 1986 to 1993. President Bill Clinton appointed Espy as agriculture secretary in 1993. Before his federal service, Espy was an assistant Mississippi attorney general and assistant secretary of state.

Espy received his bachelor’s degree from Howard University and his law degree from the University of Santa Clara in California.



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