Board of Directors

Bettina Beech

Dean, Bower School of Population Health

John Cohen

Athletic Director, Mississippi State University

Nelle Cohen

Community Leader and Philanthropist

Mary Currier

Mississippi State Health Officer, Retired

Dave Dennis

President, Specialty Contractors & Associates, Inc.

Carla Evers

Superintendent of Schools, Pass Christian School District

Patti Marshall

Special Assistant Attorney General, Mississippi Attorney General’s Office

Sammy Moon

      *Board Chairman         Executive Director, Mississippi Alliance of Nonprofits & Philanthropy

Yumeka Rushing

Founder and Chief Strategist, Social Impact Agenda


Linda H. Southward

Executive Director 

A long time visionary for children’s issues in Mississippi, Linda H. Southward, Ph.D., retired in July 2019 after 30 years at Mississippi State University to pursue new horizons through the Children’s Foundation of Mississippi. Previously, Linda served as an Associate Director of the Social Science Research Center (SSRC) at Mississippi State University, where she also held the role of Research Fellow and Research Professor. While at the SSRC, she founded and coordinated the Family & Children Research Unit. Among her many research projects, Linda’s most recent work at the SSRC included serving as Director of Mississippi KIDS COUNT, funded in part by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, Co-PI on the “Mississippi Data Project” funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, and in concert with leadership at the University of Mississippi Medical Center’s (UMMC) Department of Pediatrics, Linda was a PI on the Health Resource Services Administration (HRSA) funded Child Health and Development Project, Mississippi Thrive. Prior to her work at MSU, Linda worked in public health and directed a center for children with development delays in Northeast Mississippi.

PO Box 55887
Jackson, MS 39296-5887