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Thank you for your interest in MEC's Leadership Mississippi! 

Leadership Mississippi welcomes applicants of all walks of life and varying business backgrounds, ranging from corporate-level executives, entrepreneurs, emerging leaders and community engagers and more. Our goal is to develop and maintain a network of Mississippians committed to improving the quality of life in our state. Ideal candidates are those who are passionate not only about their home community but about the success of our state.

Acceptance into the program is determined by a multi-step application process where the number of applicants far exceeds the number of spaces available. 

2024 Class Selection Timeline

Applications Open…….…………………………………….September 8
Application Deadline ……………….October 30 (11:59 p.m. CST)
Acceptance and Decline Letters Issued…………….December 3

Tuition Deadline……………………………………………. December 11
Press Release/Class Announcement Launch……December 22

Financial Obligation and Assistance

Tuition for this class year is $3500. As part of accepting the invitation into the program cohort, each participant is required to pay this tuition. Tuition covers lodging and accommodations, group transportation, and meals (refreshments, lunch, and dinner each program day). *Participants are responsible for their own travel to and from the host session city/location. The Leadership Mississippi Program does not currently offer tuition assistance. 

2024 Leadership Mississippi Program Schedule



Tuesday, April 16th – Thursday, April 18th

Class Meeting via Zoom Meeting 

Friday, June 7th

9:00am – 10:30am


Thursday, July 25th – Friday, July 26th

Class Meeting via Zoom Meeting 

Friday, August 11th

9:00am – 10:30am

Mississippi Gulf Coast

Thursday, September 12th – Friday, September 13th

Class Meeting via Zoom Meeting

Friday, October 11th


Thursday, November 7th – Friday, November 8th



Friday, December 6th

Click here to apply!


Leadership Mississippi is an annual program of the Mississippi Economic Council 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 goal is to develop and maintain a network of Mississippians committed to strengthening our state's quality of life. Leadership Mississippi's objectives are to identify Mississippians who have demonstrated leadership potential through job-related and community activities, to train participants by sharpening their leadership skills and to motivate participants by increasing awareness of community and state challenges, involving participants in problem-solving activities on issues of current interest, and providing a network of leaders across the state who are actively involved in improving Mississippi's quality of life.


Leadership Mississippi welcomes applicants who are corporate level leaders, executives, emerging leaders, community leaders and new-to-Mississippi leaders who are interested in learning more about Mississippi and the issues that impact our state.  Our goal is to develop and maintain a network of Mississippians committed to improving the quality of life in our state.  Ideal candidates are those who are passionate not only about their communities but about Mississippi and its success.  Even if you have participated in your local leadership program, Leadership Mississippi offers an opportunity for you to expand your knowledge of how local and state issues impact community development.

Participation in Leadership Mississippi is determined by a competitive application process with the number of applicants far exceeding the number of available openings. A selection committee will carefully review all Leadership Mississippi applications. The committee is particularly interested in the extent to which the applicant has been involved in his/her community and in the applicant's interest in continuing and/or expanding involvement at home and on a broader scale.

Preference will be given to candidates with a demonstrated history of:

  • Reliability.
  • Positions with a company or an organization which show a progression toward leadership or management.
  • Significant achievement or accomplishments in career or community service.
  • Status or position with company or organization.
  • Work experience or other experience indicative of involvement in one or more areas of business, community, civic or government service.
  • Additional consideration will be given to senior level leaders of organizations and graduates of local-based leadership programs.

Leadership Mississippi seeks to have class diversity among all ethnic groups, ages, genders, professions, backgrounds and geographic areas of the state.

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