Gov. Haley Barbour has appointed Kevin Upchurch as the next executive director of the Mississippi Department of Finance and Administration.

Upchurch, 47, replaces J.K. “Hoopy” Stringer, who is retiring after serving as executive director of DFA and the state’s fiscal officer since the beginning of the Barbour administration in 2004.

Upchurch currently serves as secretary of the state Senate and is a former DFA deputy director

“Kevin Upchurch was an excellent deputy director at DFA and has excelled in his other positions,” Barber said in a statement.

The DFA is responsible for fiscal management of the state’s $11 billion annual budget. The executive director also serves as state fiscal officer and works closely with the elected treasurer to advise the governor and Legislature on financial decisions ranging from budget recommendations to the issuance of bonds.

As deputy executive director, Upchurch previously managed five offices, including budget, fiscal management, and accounting. Before that, he served as deputy executive director for the Department of Transportation. He began his career in state government in 1984 at the Department of Health.

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