By Edwin B. Smith
University of Mississippi
Former Gov. Haley Barbour and retired U.S. Sen. Trent Lott are coming to the University of Mississippi on Thursday (Oct. 13) to discuss how future leaders can come together to continue moving Mississippi and the United States forward.
Scheduled for 11 a.m. in the Overby Center for Southern Journalism and Politics, “Moving Mississippi Forward” is free and open to the public.
“The purpose behind our hosting this event is to have students hear from past political leaders who are from Mississippi with hopes of empowering young minds to adapt to their surroundings, lead others graciously and learn from the experiences of others,” said Anna Kathryn Dwyer, program manager for the Trent Lott Leadership Institute. “The main objective is to learn from Sen. Lott and Gov. Barbour’s experiences in their respective offices.
“We expect them to talk about leadership in Mississippi and the U.S., its challenges, and how we continue moving forward.”
Both speakers can shed a broad perspective on the topics presented, said Tyler Biggs, associate director of external operations at the manufacturing institute.
“Both Gov. Barbour and Sen. Lott are proven leaders in public policy and government,” Biggs said. “The expertise that each of them brings to the table is sure to enlighten the minds of those present and influence their thinking about current issues of public concern.”
Barbour served as governor from 2004 to 2012 and oversaw the state’s responses to Hurricane Katrina and the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, the state’s two most damaging environmental disasters since the 1927 Mississippi River floods.
The Yazoo City native served as chairman of the Republican National Committee from 1993 to ’97. Since leaving the governor’s office, Barbour has resumed lobbying as a senior partner at BGR Group, which he co-founded in 1991. His clients have often included foreign governments and oil and tobacco companies. He co-chairs the Immigration Task Force at the Bipartisan Policy Center.
A Grenada native, Lott entered Congress as one of the first of a wave of Republicans winning seats in Southern states. Later in his career, he served twice as senate majority leader, and also, alternately, senate minority leader.
From 1968 to 1972, Lott was an administrative assistant to U.S. Rep. William M. Colmer. Upon Colmer’s retirement, Lott won his former seat in the House of Representatives. In 1988, Lott ran successfully for the U.S. Senate to replace another retiree, John C. Stennis. After Republicans gained the Senate majority, Lott became senate majority whip in 1995 and then senate majority leader in 1996.
After resigning from the Senate in 2007, Lott became a lobbyist, co-founding the Breaux–Lott Leadership Group. He is a senior fellow at the Bipartisan Policy Center, where he focuses on issues related to energy, national security, transportation and congressional reforms.
The event is sponsored by the Haley Barbour Center for Manufacturing Excellence and the Lott Leadership Institute.