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Interim head appointed for Mississippi Development Authority

August 31, 2021 GMT

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Gov. Tate Reeves has appointed an interim executive director of the Mississippi Development Authority.

Laura Hipp, the head of marketing and a senior advisor at the agency, will be stepping into the role, Reeves announced Tuesday on Twitter. Before working at MDA, Hipp was Reeves’ communications director when he was lieutenant governor.

“My confidence in her to execute my vision will lead to economic growth & continue Mississippi’s momentum,” Reeves wrote on Twitter.

Former MDA executive director John Rounsaville resigned on Aug. 13 following “an investigation into his conduct,” according to a statement provided by Reeves spokesperson Bailey Martin to WAPT-TV.

The office released the statement to the television station after Mississippi Today reported that Rounsaville was being investigated after reports that he sexually harassed and touched three female agency employees at a Biloxi bar.

Rounsaville had been executive director of the agency since January. He was interim director before that, starting in May 2020.

Hipp’s salary will be $180,000 a year, the same as Rounsaville’s, Martin said.