Executive Director of DHS | FamiliesFirst for MS

*For Immediate Release*

John Davis' Selfless Service to Mississippians and Abroad Recognized by Belhaven University

John G. Davis, Jr., Executive Director of the Mississippi Department of Human Services (MDHS), received the Business Success Award as a 2018 Alumni Award Winner for Belhaven University. The Business Success Award is given to a graduate of the Belhaven School of Business who integrates Christian values and ethics in the marketplace as well as a servant leader committed to excellence and dedication to serving others.  

John Davis was appointed to the position of Executive Director of the Mississippi Department of Human Services (MDHS) by Governor Phil Bryant in January 2016 and confirmed by the Mississippi Senate. Davis leads a staff of more than 4200 and manages an annual budget in excess of $3billion in state and federal funds. In addition, he serves on the Boards of State Workforce Investment (SWIB) Executive Board, Mississippi Department of Rehabilitation Services, U.S. Interstate Commission for Juveniles, State Longitudinal Data Studies (SLDS) Executive Board, State Supreme Court Families First Initiative, and Policy for State Strategies.

As the MDHS Executive Director, Davis oversees the seven divisions that provide both direct services and public assistance programs for Mississippians in need: Aging and Adult Services, Community Service, Child Support, Early Childhood Care and Development, Economic Assistance, Workforce Development, and Youth Services. The efforts of MDHS serve 1 out of every 4 adults and 1 out of every 3 children in the State of Mississippi with offices in all 82 counties.

Davis began state service over twenty-five years ago and has been in various leadership positions within the agency.  In 1988, he was appointed by then Governor Kirk Fordice as the Director of the Lincoln County Department of Human Services. A later appointment followed in 2005 for his service as the Director of State Operations for Division of Economic Assistance (DEA) and in 2012 he was asked to lead as the Deputy Administrator for Programs.

Davis holds a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Southern Mississippi, in Hattiesburg, and a Master of Science in Leadership degree from Belhaven University, in Jackson. 


Davis has successfully completed eight mission trips to Central and South America with the Baptist Medical and Dental Mission and is a sixth generation member of Pleasant Grove United Methodist Church in Monticello, Mississippi.

© FFFM is a service provided by Mississippi Community Education Center & Family Resource Center of North Mississippi

Mississippi Community Education Center

2525 Lakeward Dr. Suite 200

Jackson, Mississippi 39216

O: (601) 366-6405


Family Resource Center of North Mississippi

425 Magazine St.

Tupelo, MS 38804

O: (662) 844-0013


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