The Mississippi First team is a group of dedicated individuals who work tirelessly to promote the mission of Mississippi First.

Rachel Canter

Rachel Canter

Executive Director
rachel@mississippifirst.org
601-398-9008

Rachel’s responsibilities involve direct interaction with all interested stakeholders, donors, legislators, and other policymakers. She works with the Board of Directors to ensure MSF is functioning according to our mission and goals and operating within our budget and funding restrictions. Rachel also oversees all policy research and advocacy initiatives.

Sanford Johnson

Deputy Director
sanford@mississippifirst.org
662-402-8268

Sanford directs all MSF’s community-level policy outreach and advocacy efforts. He leads the advocacy campaign for the CHART Initiative and Common Core and spearheads our campus outreach. Sanford engages educators, students, parents, and community members through presentations, trainings, and project facilitation. Sanford is based in the Clarksdale, Mississippi office.

Angela Bass

Deputy Director of Policy
angela@mississippifirst.org
601-398-9008

Angela serves as an education policy expert, assisting MSF in enacting its policy agenda. She is responsible for analyzing policy and data, developing policy proposals, conducting advocacy activities directed toward policymakers, leading research projects, writing policy papers, and delivering policy presentations. Angela is based in the Jackson, Mississippi office.

MacKenzie Stroh Hines

Director of Communications and Operations
mackenzie@mississippifirst.org
662-743-4055

MacKenzie is responsible for promoting, enhancing, and protecting MSF’s brand reputation as well as a broad range of public relations activities relative to the strategic direction and positioning of the organization and its advocacy agenda. This includes newsletters and other print publications; web, e-news, and other online communications; media and public relations; and marketing.


The Teen Health Mississippi team is a group of dedicated individuals who work tirelessly to promote the vision of Teen Health Mississippi. Visit the Teen Health Mississippi “Our Team” page to learn more about the Teen Health Mississippi staff.