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Department of Political Science
University of Mississippi

The Honorable Haley R. Barbour – Alumnus Spotlight

Haley BarbourBorn: October 22, 1947
Birthplace: Yazoo City, MS


1970 ND, The University of Mississippi
1973 JD, Law, The University of Mississippi

Employment History

BGR Group, Founding Partner (1991–present)
Butler Snow LLP, Of Counsel (2013–2021)
State of Mississippi, Governor (2004–2012)
Republican National Committee Chairman (1993–1997)
White House Office of Political Affairs, Executive Director (President Ronald Reagan)


The Honorable Haley Barbour attended the University but left to work on President Nixon’s 1968 election campaign. In 1970, he was in charge of the US Census for the state of Mississippi. Following receipt of his Juris Doctor degree from the University, he joined his family’s law practice, Henry, Barbour, DeCell & Bridgforth, PLLC in his hometown of Yazoo City, MS.

From 1973 until 1976, he served as executive director of the Mississippi Republican Party. He ran President Gerald Ford’s 1976 campaign in the Southeast and worked on John Connally’s campaign for president in 1980. He ran in the 1982 US Senate election but lost to the incumbent, the late Sen. John Stennis. Gov. Barbour provided leadership as director of the White House Office of Political Affairs for two years during the Reagan administration and served as the chair of the exploratory committee for George H.W. Bush’s presidential campaign in 1988. He provided leadership as chair of the George W. Bush for President Campaign Advisory Committee in 2000.

Haley BarbourIn 1991, Gov. Barbour and Ed Rogers founded the lobbying firm Barbour & Rogers, LLC. In 1992, Lanny Griffith (1973 BBA, 1976 JD joined the firm and the name changed to Barbour, Griffith & Rogers (now called BGR). One of the most powerful and profitable lobbying firms in Washington, DC., BGR represents clients across a variety of industries, including airlines, drug companies, defense contractors, and tobacco companies. Interpublic Group purchased the firm for $20 million in 1999, and retained Gov. Barbour as CEO — a position he held until his governorship began, at which time he cut ties with the firm. He now serves as founding partner of the company.

This leader served two terms as Governor of Mississippi. During his time in office, 2004 until 2012, personal per capita income for Mississippians rose almost 34%. Gov. Barbour reformed the state’s Medicaid program to reduce fraud and effectively spend tax dollars while emphasizing preventative care. He cut state payroll taxes, increased support for job training programs, and enacted education reforms to attract more qualified teachers. During the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, he provided leadership in helping Mississippians rebuild and recover, managed $5.4 billion to aid the Gulf Coast community, and rebuild the Port of Gulfport, which remains as an important part of the state’s economy.

Gov. Barbour is the author of America’s Great Storm: Leading Through Hurricane Katrina, Agenda for America, and co-editor of Home Grown, Home Drawn! 45 Years of Mississippi Editorial Cartoons.

He co-owns the Caucus Room Brasserie, a Washington, DC, restaurant. His partners include Tom Boggs and Ed Mathias of The Carlyle Group.

More information on Gov. Barbour can be found here: Governor Haley Barbour – BGR Group ( and here:

Board Service History

  • Interpublic Group, Director
  • Blount International, Director
  • Deposit Guarantee Corp., Director
  • Mississippi Chemical Corp., Director
  • Skytel Communications, Inc., Director

Membership & Affiliations

  • American Bar Association
  • Mississippi Bar Association

Awards & Honors

  • Governor of the Year, Governing Magazine, 2006
  • Gulf Guardian Award, US Environmental Protection Agency
  • Adam Smith Medal, BIPAC, 2008
  • Thomas Jefferson Freedom Award, American Legislative Council

University of Mississippi Affiliations


  • Ctr. for Manufacturing Excellence Board (Active)
  • UM Foundation Board (Past)

Awards & Honors:

  • Alumni Hall of Fame (2013)
  • Law Hall of Fame (2014)
  • Omicron Delta Kappa

Student Activities:

  • Associated Student Body (Class Representative)
  • Mississippi Law Journal
  • Sigma Alpha Epsilon Fraternity