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Panelist Bio


Ashley Edwards
Policy Analyst to the Governor’s Office of Recovery and Renewal, Mississippi, Online Chat

Ashley Edwards joined Governor Haley Barbour's Office in February 2006. Today, he serves as the Deputy Director of Barbour’s Office of Recovery and Renewal, with the primary responsibility of coordinating Mississippi’s recovery efforts from Hurricane Katrina.

As Deputy Director of Recovery, Ashley is tasked with overseeing the more than $5.5 Billion in Mississippi's Katrina-related Community Development Block Grants, and more than $2 Billion in FEMA Public Assistance Funds. Ashley has taken a lead role in crafting and implementing many of Mississippi’s recovery programs, including the Alternative Housing Pilot Program, better known as the Mississippi Cottage Program.

Ashley began his professional career at the Hattiesburg Police Department where he worked as the department's Crime Analyst, managing the only accredited Crime Analysis Unit in Mississippi. Later, Ashley worked as journalist and editor in print media, covering state and local news. Ashley has also served in several active roles in past local, state and national political campaigns.

Ashley is a native of Petal, Mississippi, and an alumnus of The University of Southern Mississippi and Tulane University. Ashley and his wife lost their home in Pass Christian, Mississippi during Hurricane Katrina and have since relocated to Gulfport, Mississippi.

Current Topic


     02/17 - Black & the Blue

What can be done to improve trust among the police and the public they serve?
Last year’s shooting of an African-American male in Baton Rouge by two white police officers re-ignited a national debate on how law enforcement interacts with minority communities. Nationwide demonstrations were ultimately marred by the targeted ambush of 12 white officers in Dallas and the killing of three members of law enforcement in Baton Rouge. What can be done to improve trust among the police and the public they serve? How can Louisiana’s Capital City productively move beyond these events? Louisiana Public Square looks for answers on a special town hall edition, “Black & the Blue” Wednesday, February 22 at 7 p.m. on LPB HD and in New Orleans on WLAE. (Recording Monday, February 20)

Invitation, details and directions (pdf format)

Our panelists will be:
• Fr. Rick Andrus, St. Paul the Apostle Catholic Church, Together BR
• Darrell Basco, state president of Fraternal Order of Police
• Sharon Weston Broome, Mayor-President of Baton Rouge
• Rep. Ted James, D-Baton Rouge; Public Safety Task Force
• Stephanie Riegel; Greater Baton Rouge Business Report

LPB CEO Beth Courtney and Reverend Raymond Jetson, pastor of Star Hill Church host the program. Robyn Merrick with the Southern University System and Bob Mann with LSU’s Manship School will moderate the discussion.
Learn More!
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Special Presentation


     05/16 - Louisiana Veterans Coming Home

What challenges do our returning veterans face?

Coming Soon!


     03/17 - Fiscal Reform 2017

Is it time to reform Louisiana’s tax code?

Recent Topics


     01/17 - Healthy New Year!

What is the best approach to shedding pounds in a state where cuisine is part of its culture?

     12/16 - Louisiana Veterans Coming Home (Encore Presentation)

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     11/16- Beyond the Flood

What lessons did residents and state officials learn from this historic event and what challenges remain?

     10/16 - Election 2016

What concerns are on citizens’ minds as they go to the polls this fall?
»»» View all Topics!
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