Business News for the Mississippi Delta

Laura Hipp

Mississippi Development Authority’s Deputy Executive Director By Mark H. Stowers  •  Photography by Greg Campbell  Keeping the cogs and wheels and internal and external parts of the Mississippi economy greased and rolling forward is an immense job for anyone. Laura Hipp, Mississippi Development Authority’s deputy executive director tackles it all with gumption, fire and a smile grounded in knowledge of how to get things done and surrounds herself with those who do as well. The native Texan was named interim director by Governor Tate Reeves back in 2021 after the previous director resigned. Hipp had served as Reeves’ communication director when he was Lieutenant Governor and also worked for former Governor Haley Barbour as communications director.   She received a journalism degree from Texas Tech University and then spent time as a political reporter for the Clarion Ledger in Jackson before returning to Texas to work at the Austin Business Journal. Her career at the Clarion Ledger, however, taught her the ins and outs of Jackson and Mississippi politics. Now, as head of  the state’s lead economic and community development agency, Hipp has a staff of 200 or so employees that stay busy promoting the state in order to recruit potential businesses and expand existing industry while also working to retain in-state talent. She also promotes her home-away-from-home as a top-notch tourism locale.  But, Hipp first came to Mississippi to ply her journalistic skills. “What brought me here was covering Jackson City Hall and then the Mississippi Legislature back when people read those crinkly newspapers,” says Hipp. “I did that for about ten years total, but I left for about a year to work for the Austin Business Journal and wrote about tech companies and finance. But, I ended up coming back to Mississippi work for Governor Barbour.” Still a passionate Red Raider, she added a maroon hue to her transcripts upon acquiring a Master’s of Public Policy degree from Mississippi State University. “I worked for Governor Barbour in his press office, and I worked there the last three years of his term. That was a whole other degree in public policy. I went to Mississippi State while I was

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