Mike Tagert

Mike Tagert speaks after being introduced as the next president and CEO of the Greater Starkville Development Partnership on Friday.

A familiar face in state and local politics will be the next head of the Greater Starkville Development Partnership in addition to taking on a new economic development role at Mississippi State University.

Outgoing Northern District Transportation Commissioner Mike Tagert was named as the Partnership’s next president and CEO during a press conference at the Partnership office on Main Street Friday.

Tagert was also named as associate director for Corporate Partnerships within Mississippi State University's Office of Research and Economic Development (ORED).

MSU said he will assume his new duties on Jan. 7, 2020, pending approval by the Board of Trustees for the state Institutions of Higher Learning (IHL).

Tagert announced in January he would not seek re-election to the office.

Tagert will take the role previously occupied by interim CEO Jennifer Prather, who left the Partnership in October to take a job as director of Community Development for Mississippi Main Street Association.

The announcement represents the culmination of a nationwide search that started when former President and CEO Scott Maynard left the Partnership in June 2018 to take a job at Florida State University in Tallahassee.

Tagert was first elected as transportation commissioner in 2011 and previously worked as administrator of the Tennessee-Tombigbee Water Development Authority.

In addition to his public service as an elected official and economic development leader, Tagert served in the United States Marine Corps and Reserves for six years.

This is a developing story. For more, read Saturday’s Starkville Daily News.

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