JACKSON – The Mississippi Veterans Affairs Board has appointed Mark Smith as the Agency's new Executive Director. Smith was hired as Deputy Director of MSVA in April 2022 and most recently served as the Agency's interim Executive Director.
"I am honored to serve Mississippi's 186,000 Veterans through our mission programs," said Smith. "With a great team already in place, we will continue to provide superior service, care and assistance to America's heroes."
He has pledged to more closely monitor services to veteran and those agencies who provide assistance to veterans.
Smith, a veteran, served in the United States Army and Mississippi National Guard from 1976 to 2006, retiring with the rank of Colonel. He received his undergraduate degree (Bachelor of Business Administration) from William Carey University and his master's degree (Master of Business Administration) from Mississippi College.
Smith has served over 16 years in state government at multiple agencies, including the Mississippi Department of Child Protective Services (Deputy Commissioner), Mississippi Department of Archives and History (Personnel Director), and Mississippi Department of Human Services (Deputy Executive Director).
Smith was named to the post after MSVA announced the resignation of Executive Director Stacey Pickering and Chief of Staff Melissa Wade in May.
Mr. Pickering decided to retire from state government service, while Wade is pursuing other endeavors outside of MSVA.
Smith, who was MSVA's Deputy Director, was named Interim Executive Director while the Veterans Affairs Board began searching for a new daily leader of the agency.
Mississippi Veterans Affairs Board members are:
• James H. Garner - Chairman, Fifth Congressional District, Biloxi
• James (Max) Fenn - Vice-Chairman, Fourth Congressional District, Summit
• David H. McElreath - First Congressional District, Oxford
• George E. Irvin, Sr. - Second Congressional District, Jackson
• Billy Pierce - Third Congressional District, Decatur
• Deborah Walley Coleman - At-Large, Madison
• Allen McDaniel - At-Large, Flowood