Title: Research and Executive Support Editor
Starkville native Jim Laird returned to his hometown in 2008. In his role as research and executive support editor for Mississippi State University, he provides key research, writing, and related executive support for the Office of the President and serves as the liaison to the Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning and the board's administrative staff.
Laird helps to promote the land-grant institution's research and economic development activities via publications, social media, video, and other platforms. He also coordinates communication for the Office of the Vice President for Research and Economic Development, including website management, publications, and other special projects.
As part of the Public Affairs team, he writes, edits, and distributes the MSU News Digest weekday mornings, and also publishes an online newsletter for faculty and staff - Maroon MEMO - every Monday morning.
For a decade, Laird was editor of the Jackson-based Mississippi Business Journal - the Magnolia State's only statewide business weekly publication. At the MBJ, his editorial writing won gold and silver awards from the Alliance of Area Business Publications. The Mississippi Press Association has also recognized his work.
A graduate of Starkville Academy, he holds a bachelor's degree in history from Mississippi College. Laird and his family live in Starkville, where they are members of The Episcopal Church of the Resurrection and active supporters of the tennis program and Lady Jacket soccer team at Starkville High School, where his daughter Harper is a junior. His wife, Harriet, is associate director of Public Affairs at MSU, and daughter Hannah is a sophomore microbiology major and member of Kappa Delta sorority.
He is the son of Marilyn Laird Henley of Starkville and the late Dr. Kermit Laird.