OXFORD, Miss. — Former Gov. Haley Barbour is being honored by the Mississippi Geographic Alliance.

Barbour will receive the MGA Geographic Visionary Award at a ceremony Sept. 7 at the Mississippi Museum of Art in Jackson

The award honors a Mississippi business or civic leader who recognizes the importance of global understanding and awareness for Mississippians or promotes understanding about the state in other parts of the world. Other award recipients include former Gov. William Winter; U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran; businessmen Leland Speed and George Schloegel; and John Palmer, who was U.S. ambassador to Portugal from 2001 to 2004.

“From economic development to disaster preparedness and recovery, Gov. Barbour has had a tremendous impact upon the state of Mississippi,” University of Mississippi Chancellor Jeffrey Vitter said in a news release. “He understands that success in the modern world depends upon being able to work globally.”

As governor, Barbour worked to recruit international companies, including Toyota, to build manufacturing plants in Mississippi. He led the state’s response to Hurricane Katrina. He received the Thomas Jefferson Freedom Award and the Gulf Guardian Award for his work on rebuilding Gulf of Mexico ecosystems.

“His national and international reach along with his long history of supporting education, make him an excellent fit for the Geographic Visionary award,” said Carley Lovorn, assistant director of the Mississippi Geographic Alliance, which is based at the University of Mississippi.

The Jess McKee Award for Distinguished Service to Geography Education also will be presented during the ceremony to Steven White, a teacher at Pearl High School.

The Mississippi Geographic Alliance is part of National Geographic Society’s Alliance Network. It provides educational programs about geography.

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