The Board of Directors of the Mississippi Center for Public Policy (MCPP) has named Jon L. Pritchett as its new President and CEO. Pritchett is a native of North Carolina and comes to MCPP from the Tar Heel state’s John Locke Foundation, one of the nation’s oldest and most respected free-market, public policy think tanks, where he was Senior Vice President. Pritchett replaces MCPP's longtime president, Forest Thigpen.
Before working in public policy, Pritchett spent nearly three decades in the private sector in a variety of leadership positions. Among other executive roles, which included investment banking, public relations, and sports marketing, Pritchett was CEO of AstroTurf USA.
MCPP Board Chairman, Mike Dawkins said, “Jon Pritchett understands that the purpose of a free-market think tank is to guide policy, not based on political party affiliation, but based on principle. Jon will have a broad appeal to Mississippians across ideological lines. He communicates well with people with whom he may not agree because he respects their perspectives, while still holding to principles that will create a better place for all Mississippians. He challenges the mindset that a 'conservative' lacks compassion for the economically disadvantaged. Jon has succeeded as a business person and as an emerging leader in the free-market movement. Our board believes we have found an outstanding leader to guide MCPP.”
“Jon Pritchett is the consummate professional,” remarked John Locke Foundation Board Member, Theodore Hicks. “He loves liberty and is willing to fight for her, but always as a well-articulated, gentleman. Our loss is Mississippi’s gain. With Jon at the helm of MCPP, there’s no doubt that freedom in Mississippi will expand,” added Hicks.
When asked why she thought Pritchett was the right person to lead MCPP, MCPP Board Member, Gloria Walker responded, “We are beyond delighted that Jon and his family are moving to Jackson. We welcome the experience, passion, and energy that he brings to the position of President and CEO, because these skills are necessary for us to be successful in our mission to increase transparency at all levels of government. We look forward to working with Jon and are confident that he will bring a respect for traditional values that many Mississippians hold so dear. MCPP is very much alive and ready to start a new chapter.”
Pritchett will join the organization at the beginning of April. According to Pritchett, his immediate goals are focused on communications and fundraising. “The excellent work of MCPP and its talented staff is not as well-known across the state of Mississippi as it should be. Mississippians need to know about the vital work MCPP and the Mississippi Justice Institute do to fight the enemies of liberty, to enhance freedom, to limit government, to ensure choice and competition, and to promote the foundational principles of a thriving society, including individual responsibility and strong traditional families. And this work cannot be done in a robust and meaningful way without raising funds from individuals, foundations, and businesses,” said Pritchett. Unlike most 501(c)3 non-profit organizations, the Mississippi Center for Public Policy takes no money from government sources at the local, state or federal level. Pritchett continued, “I’m honored to have the opportunity to work with our staff and board to build onto the substantial foundation developed over 25 years by Forest Thigpen."
Jon is no stranger to Mississippi. When Jon was CEO of AstroTurf USA, Mississippi native Archie Manning served as AstroTurf''s spokesperson. Manning remarked, “I’ve known Jon since 2007, when I became involved with AstroTurf. He’s a strong leader, and I’m excited for Mississippi and for Jon.”
In addition to his role as a leader, manager, and fundraiser, Pritchett also writes op-eds on a variety of public policy issues, including corporate social activism, business regulations, culture wars, the business of sports, and leadership. His work has been published in the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, The Federalist, and Washington Examiner, among others. He has appeared on the Fox Business Network, the YES Network, and on the BBC. Pritchett also co-hosts a weekly podcast called Head Locke,which is a unique look at current news, culture, sports, business, and public policy.
The Mississippi Center for Public Policy (MCPP) is an independent, non-profit, public policy organization based in Jackson, MS. MCPP works to promote and protect the concepts of free markets, limited government, and strong traditional families.