JSU alum named executive director of the John C. Stennis Center for Public Service Leadership



Dr. Brian Pugh has been named the next executive director of the John C. Stennis Center for Public Service Leadership. The center was established by congress as a living tribute to the public service career of John C. Stennis, who served in the United States senate for over 41 years.

“The primary reason that the Stennis Center for Public Service exist is to promote and strengthen public service leadership in America,” Pugh said.

In 2014, Pugh received his Ph.D. in public policy and administration from Jackson State. He says his time spent in the program correlates to the mission of the Stennis Center.

“Many of JSU’s professors in the public policy & administration program seemed to have that same exact mission, Pugh said. “When I was a student, they made me eager about a career in public service. I plan to bring that same level of excitement to the Stennis Center to pass on to others interested in a career in public service.”

The Stennis Center’s congressional mandate is to attract young people to careers in public service, to provide training for leaders in or likely to be in public service, and to offer training and development opportunities for senior congressional staff, members of congress, and other public service leaders.

As a graduate student at Mississippi State University, Pugh began his career as a program assistant at the Stennis Center.

“I’ve always wanted to go back. However, I would have never gained the knowledge and public service experience had I not left, says Pugh.” “During that decade of absence from the Stennis Center, I was fortunate enough to work for the legislative and executive branches of government and I learned a lot about public service.”

The Stennis Center for Public Service Leadership is governed by the board of trustees appointed by the Democratic and Republican leaders in the US Senate and the US House of Representatives.

Pugh currently serves as deputy executive director of the Mississippi Department of Finance and Administration and previously served as fiscal policy advisor and director of finance for Governor Phil Bryant. He also worked as a legislative budget analyst for the Legislative Budget Office.

He will become executive director in the Spring, replacing the founding executive director of the Stennis Center, Rex Buffington, who has served in that position 30 years.

Dr. Pugh and his wife, Dominique, are parents of two daughters.