(The following is a press release from the Office of Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant.)
JACKSON – Gov. Phil Bryant announced today he has appointed Shad White state auditor. The appointment is effective July 17. White, 32, replaces Stacey Pickering, who resigned recently to become executive director of the Mississippi State Veterans Affairs Board.
“Stacey Pickering has served the people of Mississippi well, from the state Senate to the office of state auditor,” Gov. Bryant said. “I know that service will continue in his new role.”
White grew up in Sandersville, Miss. – population 731 – in a blue-collar family. His father and grandfather were oilfield pumpers, and his mother and grandmother were teachers. On the weekends, his father was music minister at their small country church, where his mother played the organ. Today, his father serves as mayor of their small town.
In 2011, Shad served as director of policy to then-Lt. Gov. Phil Bryant. Since then, White practiced law in the private sector, served as a special prosecutor in Rankin County, where he successfully prosecuted felonies involving the family of an elected official, and, most recently, served as director of the Mississippi Justice Institute.
“Shad’s credentials and ability are without question,” Gov. Bryant said. “He has proven himself a champion of limited and efficient government that serves the taxpayers. He is the perfect fit for this important office, and I am pleased he has accepted this appointment.”
At the Mississippi Justice Institute, White filed and led cases against public officials when they violated Mississippi's open government and ethics laws. He has also taught as an adjunct professor at the University of Mississippi, earned a certificate in forensic accounting (the use of accounting to detect fraud) from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, and previously worked as a fellow at a national think tank on state policy.
"I'm honored by the faith Governor Bryant has placed in me with this appointment,” White said. “I know this office is important to him personally, and it's important to the taxpayers, too. I'm looking forward to being the watchdog of their hard-earned dollars. I've committed to the governor and will commit to Mississippians that I'll bring every ounce of energy I have and whatever talent God gave me to do this the right way. I'll always tell you the truth, even if the truth is uncomfortable. I'll always treat our public officials fairly, and I'll do everything in my power to make sure Mississippi's future is free from corruption."
After attending public school, Shad earned his undergraduate degree in economics from the University of Mississippi, where he was a member of Phi Beta Kappa and a Truman scholar. He studied as a Rhodes Scholar at the University of Oxford, earning a master’s in economic history. White holds a law degree from Harvard Law School, where he learned the meaning of fighting for your values even when it is unpopular. At Harvard, White served as president of the Federalist Society, a conservative legal association, and brought speakers to campus to defend the legality of public prayer, the morality of work and free enterprise, and the importance of traditional moral values.