Speaker Date Topic
Mississippi Cares

Richard Roberson is General Counsel and Vice President of Policy and State Advocacy for the Mississippi Hospital Association.  Prior to joining MHA, Richard practiced healthcare law and government relations in the Jackson, Mississippi office of Bradley Arant Boult Cummings.  His healthcare practice primarily focused on Medicaid and Medicare reimbursement, certificate of need and other regulatory and audit issues for a variety of healthcare clients including hospitals, physicians, dentists, pharmacies, physical therapists, hospice and nursing homes.  Before entering private practice, he spent over fifteen years in state government, most of which were spent at the Mississippi Division of Medicaid.  He received his B.A. from Baylor University and his J.D. from the University of Mississippi.             

AARON RICE Aug 27, 2019
Director, MS Justice Institute
Director, MS Justice Institute

Aaron Rice serves as the Director of the Mississippi Justice Institute and is passionate about the vital role the Constitution plays in protecting our most precious freedoms. After the September 11 terrorist attacks, Aaron felt called to serve his country. He joined the Marine Corps and was deployed to Iraq with the 3rd Battalion, 25th Marines; the battalion would go on to suffer the highest number of casualties of any in the Iraq war. Aaron received the Purple Heart for sustaining combat injuries that resulted in the loss of his left leg below the knee.

Upon returning home, Aaron earned a degree in political science from Mississippi State University and was awarded the national Truman Scholarship to pursue his graduate studies. He earned his law degree from the University of Mississippi School of Law, where he developed an interest in constitutional law.

In 2008, Aaron was elected to serve as a Delegate to the Republican National Convention. He also served on campaigns for Governor Haley Barbour and Senator Roger Wicker.

Prior to joining the Mississippi Justice Institute, Aaron built his career as a litigation attorney at a nationally recognized law firm in Mississippi. Aaron is a Fellow of the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA) National Trial College at Harvard Law School, and a Graduate of the International Association of Defense Counsel (IADC) Trial Academy at Stanford Law School. He is also a recipient of the 2019 Buckley Award in recognition for his leadership in the conservative movement.

Aaron is a Deacon at Madison Heights Church, PCA. He and his wife, Kelly, live in Madison with their four children, Clark, Griffin, Ramsey, and Miles.

The University of Southern Mississippi
The University of Southern Mississippi

Rodney D. Bennett serves as the chief executive officer and principal educational officer of The University of Southern Mississippi (USM), a comprehensive public research institution delivering transformative programs to approximately 15,000 students on campuses in South Mississippi and along the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

Under President Bennett’s leadership, the University has invested in new faculty positions, expanded coastal operations, and worked to increase access to quality education and research programs to serve the needs of the state of Mississippi and beyond. As an economic driver, USM generates an annual economic impact of more than $600 million across the state.

President Bennett’s vision is for The University of Southern Mississippi to become the model for public higher education across the country. His key institutional priorities include ensuring student success; expanding enrollment strategies; enhancing academic instruction; fostering greater focus on research; bolstering economic and community partnerships; and maximizing human potential.

President Bennett holds a Doctor of Education in Educational Administration from Tennessee State University in Nashville and a Specialist in Education, a Master of Education in Educational Administration, and a Bachelor of Science in Mass Communication from Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro.