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
601-398-9008 ext. 102

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

Sanford Johnson

Deputy Director

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.

angwebAngela Bass

Deputy Director of Policy
601-398-9008 ext. 101

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.

Mackenzie Stroh

MacKenzie Stroh

Director of Communications and Operations

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.

joshwebJosh McCawley

Director of Teen Health Policy

Josh provides issue education and advocacy for local- and state-level policies related to teen sexual health. He works directly with the Deputy Director of Advocacy to assist in district advocacy for the CHART Abstinence-Plus Policy and teacher training on the CHART curricula. He also works with local communities to improve teens’ access to general health services.

emwebEmily Feher

Director of Teen Health Mississippi/Focus4Teens Project Director

Emily provides trainings for evidence-based comprehensive sexuality education curricula, professional development opportunities for educators teaching sex education and other related courses, workshops and resources for parents, and “youth-friendly” trainings for healthcare providers. She also works with partnering organizations and school districts to provide immediate training/professional development for relevant teachers and will work to increase youth access to youth-friendly health centers and contraceptive vendors.

 saraheadshotwebSara Miller

Focus4Teens Project Coordinator

Sara supports and coordinates Focus4Teens, a 5-year cooperative agreement with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), to work with publicly funded health centers and youth-serving systems to reduce teen pregnancy among youth from vulnerable populations in Coahoma, Quitman, and Tunica Counties in the Mississippi Delta.