Executive Director Dr. Angela Bass transitions to new role, Deputy Director Biz Harris to take role of Interim Executive Director.

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The Mississippi Early Learning Alliance has bittersweet news to share: our founder and Executive Director, Dr. Angela Bass, will be transitioning out of her role with MELA and pursuing an important, education-focused opportunity in Jackson, Mississippi. While Dr. Bass will be greatly missed, the MELA team is excited to see how Dr. Bass will apply her bold, innovative approach to solving systems-level problems and improving outcomes for children and families in her new role. We are grateful for her visionary leadership during MELA’s founding years, and we are looking forward to continuing and evolving MELA’s work in ways that will make her proud. Our Deputy Director, Biz Harris, will be taking on the role of Interim Executive Director.

From Dr. Angela Bass: 

“Thank you for all the support you have shown the Mississippi Early Learning Alliance since its start in 2019. When I became the founding executive director of MELA over 3 years ago, it was my hope to build an organization that would be an asset to the early childhood community in Mississippi by driving collaboration and leveraging our collective strengths. During my tenure, we created a movement together that is built upon the voices and perspectives of childcare providers, families, early childhood professionals and advocates across the state. We’ve cultivated spaces for thoughtful debate and discussion, and seen partners look beyond organizational differences and historic mistrust to rally around a common goal: providing state-of-the-art care for children. We have been privileged to work with exceptional partners to support childcare providers throughout a global pandemic, and have fostered a renewed culture of collaboration among state and community leaders in early care and education. Today, I am extremely proud of the impact that MELA has made in Mississippi, and it is with mixed emotions that I am announcing I will be leaving the organization to pursue another exciting opportunity in Jackson, Mississippi. 

Being the founding executive director of MELA has been one of the greatest opportunities of my career, and I am extremely grateful to my amazing team on the MELA staff, the MELA Board of Directors, our partner organizations, and the Tallahatchie River Foundation for their great support. Though I am leaving, I am confident that the work of MELA will continue on. I am also excited to announce that former Deputy Director, Biz Harris, will be stepping into the role of Interim Executive Director. Biz is a passionate, reflective, and results-driven executor with a strong commitment to equity and inclusion. I am confident that MELA is in great hands under her leadership.”

We wish Dr. Bass all the best in her continued efforts on behalf of children and families in Mississippi, and look forward to her continued membership in and support of the Forum for the Future movement.