Education Professor Named Presidential Leadership Scholar

Hunter Taylor joins public, private sector professionals in national leadership program

Hunter Taylor

OXFORD, Miss. – Hunter Taylor, an assistant professor in the University of Mississippi School of Educationhas been selected into the newest class of the Presidential Leadership Scholars program, a leadership development program jointly run by the presidential centers of four former U.S. presidents.

Taylor coordinates recruitment for the Mississippi Teacher Corps, an alternate-route teaching program that serves critical-needs classrooms in the state. In February, he joined a cohort of 59 individuals from nonprofit, military and other public and private fields as a member of the program’s fourth class.

PLS serves as a catalyst for a diverse network of leaders brought together to collaborate and make a difference in the world as they learn about leadership through the lens of the presidential experiences of George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush and Lyndon B. Johnson.

The latest class joins an active network of 181 scholars who are applying lessons learned through the program to make a difference in their communities in the U.S. and around the world.

“I’m looking forward to the opportunity to learn and share ideas with people,” Taylor said. “This is the sort of networking opportunity where you can go and speak with people who are doing great things and figure out how you can pick up those ideas and bring it back to where you are.”

In the program, Taylor will acquire a network of new peers and learn about leadership strategy firsthand from former presidents. As a 2018 scholar, he will also have the opportunity to travel to Washington, D.C., and several other major U.S. cities over the course of several months. While in the program, scholars also learn from top advisers and aides to former presidents and the leading academics who advised their administrations.

As part of the program, Taylor will design and execute a service project that will benefit the Mississippi Teacher Corps. The alternate route teaching program allows its members to earn a master’s degree over two years through weekend classes.

One idea Taylor is considering is to help grow the program in other areas of the state, including the Jackson area.

“It is a great honor for the School of Education to have Dr. Taylor named as a Presidential Leadership Scholar,” said Susan McClelland, UM chair of teacher education. “As a scholar, he will have the opportunity to develop essential leadership skills in the areas of vision, communication, decision making, influence and strategic partnerships.

“These skills are crucial skills for effective leaders in higher education. Through this prestigious program, Dr. Taylor will have a unique opportunity to learn from some of our nation’s greatest leaders.”

Before joining Ole Miss, Taylor coached basketball at Arkansas State University. He holds a doctorate in education from Baylor University, a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from UM and a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Texas.

Presidential Leadership Scholars is a partnership among the presidential centers of George W. Bush, William J. Clinton, George H.W. Bush and Lyndon B. Johnson. To learn more, visit For updates about the Presidential Leadership Scholars, use #PLScholars and follow @PLSprogram on Twitter and Medium.

About Andrew M. Abernathy