Ricki Garrett, Ph.D.

Ricki Garrett is CEO of Ricki R. Garrett, LLC, an association management firm and currently serves as Executive Director of the Mississippi Speech-Language-Hearing Association. She has served as Alderwoman-at-Large and Mayor Pro Tempore of Clinton, Mississippi since 2017. She is the State Representative of Mississippi for Sister Cities International and represents the State Representatives on the SCI Board of Directors and serves as the SCI National State Representative Liaison.

In 2014, Ricki founded the first nurse practitioner association in Mississippi, The Mississippi Association of Nurse Practitioners, and served as its first Executive Director.

From 2004 until 2011, Ricki served as Executive Director of the Mississippi Nurses Association. During her tenure, MNA became one of the leading nursing organizations in the country through its advocacy efforts, educational offerings, and collaborations with nursing and other organizations state-wide and nationally.

Prior to her tenure at MNA, Ricki spent twelve years on the Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning, governing Mississippi’s eight publicly supported universities. When the historically black universities, and the only historically female university, were threatened with closure, Ricki became a vocal opponent of merger and closure and testified in the federal Ayers Desegregation Case trial on the importance of both Mississippi University for Women and Mississippi Valley State University to the university system. Today, both universities are thriving, and the other historically black universities were enhanced as part of the settlement of the case.

Ricki has also served as a gubernatorial appointee to the Mississippi Ednet Board, the Mississippi Commission on Volunteer Service, the Mississippi Humanities Council, and the Governor’s Task Force on Health Information Exchange. She has also served as president of the Mississippi Stadium Commission and the Mississippi University for Women Alumni Association. In 2005, she was named one of the 50 Leading Business Women by the Mississippi Business Journal and in 2004, was named Woman of the Year by the Mississippi University for Women. She currently serves as the Board Chair of Goodwill Industries of Mississippi and on the Board of the Mississippi Municipal League, the Mississippi Society of Association Executives and the Mississippi Council on Economic Education.

Ricki has a doctorate in urban higher education from Jackson State University, an M.A. in English from the University of Mississippi, and a B.A. in English from Mississippi University for Women. Her dissertation on Women in Governance won a national Council of Historical Black Graduate Schools/Proquest award in 2008.

Ricki lives in Clinton, Mississippi and is married to Jesse Garrett, a retired pharmacist with the Veterans Affairs Medical Center, and has two sons, Walker, a systems architect with Northrop Grumman in Huntsville, Alabama; and Oliver, an assistant director in Burbank, California.