Jamie Miller chosen as new DMR Executive Director

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Governor Phil Bryant has chosen Jamie Miller as the new executive director of the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources. Miller is a former chief of staff to Congressman Steven Palazzo.

Before that he was a policy analyst for Governor Haley Barbour, who focused on post-Katrina issues (February, 2006-December, 2008).  He was also a coastal ecologist for the DMR. And from 1999-2003, Miller was Pascagoula's deputy city manager.

Miller attended Gulfport High School and later graduated from the University of Southern Mississippi with a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Biology.

"I have taken this appointment very seriously and believe DMR's success is vital to the Gulf Coast and to the management of Mississippi's coastal resources," Gov. Phil Bryant said. "It is important for the next executive director to have proven management experience, extensive disaster response and recovery experience and solid grant management experience. The new director must also have knowledge of issues that impact our coastal ecosystem and must be willing to take a top to bottom view of the agency. Jamie Miller meets these qualifications and more, so today I will submit his name to the Senate for confirmation as executive director of the Department of Marine Resources."

"It is hard to quantify the importance of this agency to other state agencies in Mississippi, but there is no doubt the Department of Marine Resources touches the lives of so many who live and work in South Mississippi," Miller said. "It is my honor to be selected as the agency's next executive director, and I look forward to working with Governor Bryant and the Commission on Marine Resources to provide ample strategic support and a clear vision to lead the department in the future."

The DMR has been under a microscope in recent months.  State and federal investigators are looking into allegations of wrongdoing linked to DMR administrators.  That investigation led to the firing of longtime DMR director Dr. William Walker.

Jamie Miller must still be confirmed by the Mississippi Senate.

Steve Phillips is at this morning's news conference on Miller's appointment, and will have more details on the new DMR executive director coming up on WLOX News at MidDay, starting at 11am.

Copyright 2013 WLOX. All rights reserved.