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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


02/16 - Effects of Expansion: Medicaid in Louisiana

How will the lives of those who now have access to health care change?

Special Presentation


12/15 - Election 2015: An Analysis

What strategies did each of the major candidates use during the Governor's race?

Special Presentation


Breaking Away:  A Louisiana Public Square Special Presentation

Would the breakaway City of St. George quash Baton Rouge’s school desegregation progress?

Coming Soon!


03/16 - Justice on Hold: Louisiana’s Public Defender Shortage

How serious of a problem is the shortage of public defenders in Louisiana?

Recent Topics


01/16 - Police POV: Body Cameras in Louisiana

What happens when police and the people they arrest have different versions of their encounters?


11/15 - Living Below the Line

What is living in poverty like?


10/15 - Funding the Future: Early Childhood Opportunities

How can improving early childhood programs improve the state’s educational outcomes, workforce, and economics?


09/15 - Agenda Louisiana

What issues will candidates face and where do they stand?

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