JACKSON — Gov. Haley Barbour has announced the appointment of Les Range as executive director of the Mississippi Department of Employment Security (MDES). Range, who has served as MDES’ deputy executive director and chief operating officer since 2006, will replace Tommye Dale Favre, who is retiring at the end of September.
“Tommye Dale’s tenure has been marked by tremendous improvements in the scope and structure of this important agency’s operations, and I appreciate her dedicated service. Les has been on board since 2004 leading the agency’s workforce and unemployment insurance programs. He is already very knowledgeable and will do an outstanding job in this new position.” Barbour said.
Favre was named by Barbour in 2004 to head an agency formerly known as the Mississippi Employment Security Commission that was restructured as the MDES with legislative passage of the Workforce Development Act of 2004 in the first year of the Barbour Administration.
Range holds a bachelors degree in English/journalism from Northeastern University in Boston and a masters of business administration from Delta State University. He has management experience with state government agencies, regional and local economic and community development organizations, colleges and universities and as a business owner. As an administrator and member of the President’s Cabinet at Tougaloo College, he was in charge of fundraising, development, alumni relations, special events, public relations and marketing.
He has worked as a consultant to the W.K. Kellogg Foundation’s Mid-South Delta Initiative, and provided hands-on technical assistance in the areas of management, proposal writing, program planning, organizational capacity building, community action planning, leadership, team development and regional networking.
As program leader for economic development and public policy for the Delta Partners Initiative at Delta State University, he managed programs aimed at building partnerships between groups, organizations, and individuals in the Mississippi Delta.
Range is an accomplished writer, and began his professional career as a newspaper reporter with [ITAL]The Christian Science Monitor[ITAL] in Boston. He served for a number of years as a regular contributing columnist to [ITAL]The
Clarion-Ledger[ITAL] in Jackson. At the local level, he served as city planner and economic development director in the small, rural town of Mound Bayou. At the state level, he worked at the Mississippi Research and Development Center as special projects officer, manager for black economic development and communications director.