May 14, 2021
Former House Speaker Pro Tempore Greg Snowden of Meridian will soon become director of the Administrative Office of Courts. Supreme Court Chief Justice Mike Randolph said that the new director is expected to assume his duties before the start of the new fiscal year, July 1, 2021.
The Administrative Office of Courts, AOC, is responsible for the administrative business of the state trial and appellate courts including budget, finance and personnel. The director of AOC also assists the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, the chief administrative officer of every court in the state.
The AOC also works to obtain and manage grants, assists with studies and projects to improve the administration of justice, serves as the data collection unit of the court system, and sets standards and rules for electronic filing of court records.
Chief Justice Randolph said that Snowden’s record of leadership and experience with governmental performance based budgeting and evidence based programming makes him ideally suited to serve the Courts of Mississippi.
Chief Justice Randolph said, “He has a proven track record in governmental performance based budget planning. We are very pleased that he has agreed to serve the courts in this important role.”
Snowden served as House Speaker Pro Tempore 2012-2019, one of two presiding officers of that body. He served on the Joint Legislative Budget Committee and was subcommittee chairman handling judiciary budgets on the House Appropriations Committee. He was chair of the House Management Committee and was a member of the Performance Based Budgeting Committee. Former Gov. Phil Bryant appointed Snowden in 2014 as a commissioner on the Commission for a Balanced Budget, a multi-state compact of which Mississippi is a founding member.
Snowden, an attorney, said that his skill set will be a good fit for the AOC. “I believe my budgeting experience in the Legislature and my history of overseeing the finance and personnel affairs of the House of Representatives will be of benefit to our State’s judiciary. I am deeply grateful to the Supreme Court for demonstrating their confidence in my abilities.”
Snowden served in the Mississippi House of Representatives for 20 years, representing Lauderdale County District 83 from January 2000 through December 2019. He also was a member of the Judiciary A; Judiciary En Banc; Rules; and Compilation, Revision, and Publication committees.
He served terms on the executive committees of the National Conference of State Legislatures, the Council of State Governments, and the Southern Legislative Conference. He was recognized among the Top 50 Influential People in Mississippi in 2016.
Snowden is the second former high-ranking legislator to lead AOC. Former Senator Martin Smith of Poplarville was AOC’s first director after the administrative arm of the courts of Mississippi was created by the Legislature and began operation in 1995.
Kevin Lackey of Ridgeland retired as AOC director on June 30, 2020, after 19 years as director and more than 30 years of state service. Attorney Lisa A. Counts of Vicksburg, deputy director of AOC, has admirably served the courts as interim director, Chief Justice Randolph said.
Snowden, 67, grew up in Meridian. He is a graduate of Meridian High School. He graduated magna cum laude from the University of Alabama, where he earned a bachelor of arts degree with a major in history. He was selected as a member of Phi Beta Kappa and was a College of Arts and Sciences Honors Scholar. He earned a Doctor of Jurisprudence from Vanderbilt University School of Law, where he was an associate editor of the Vanderbilt Law Review. During law school, he also worked as a law clerk for former Senate Watergate committee minority counsel Fred Thompson, who later became a U.S. Senator from Tennessee.
Snowden has practiced law for 42 years. He was admitted to the Florida Bar in 1979, and to the Mississippi Bar in 1981. He practiced law in Florida from 1979 to 1981. He practiced law in Meridian with the firm of Bourdeaux &Jones 1981 to 1995, and was a solo practitioner in Meridian 1995 to 2020. He became special counsel to the firm of Barry, Thaggard & May, formerly Bourdeaux & Jones, in Meridian earlier this year. He has served as Board Attorney for the Clarke County Board of Supervisors since 2012, and as municipal attorney for the town of Stonewall since 1995. He served as chair of the Real Property Section of the Mississippi Bar 1993 through 1994. He is a member of the American Bar Association, the Florida Bar, the Mississippi Bar and the Lauderdale County Bar Association.
He and his wife, Renee, have two daughters, Emily and Katie, and eight grandchildren.