Anne Cherry Buffington has had a varied career in public service, education, and the communication fields. A graduate of Mississippi State University, Buffington served as Senator Thad Cochran’s Education advisor for the Committee on Labor and Human Resources as well as Deputy Press Secretary to the Senator. During her tenure in Washington, Buffington developed education strategy and drafted related legislation, floor remarks, and policy statements of behalf of the Senator and served as his spokesperson to state and national news media.
Buffington has experience in the broadcasting arena as a radio news director at WOKK/WALT in Meridian, Mississippi and as a reporter and anchor for WTOK TV in Meridian. She has taught public speaking and public relations courses at Mississippi State University and created curriculum and taught a graduate course on Political Public Relations there.
From 2003 to 2008, Buffington served as a member of the Starkville School District’s Board of Trustees and was elected President for two years. As President, Buffington directed the passage of a $26.5 million school bond issue, the largest in the history of the district. Additionally, Buffington served as the chief spokesperson for the board, guided strategic planning efforts for the district, wrote and revised school policy and oversaw an annual budget of $33 million.
Buffington serves as a motivational speaker. She was selected to speak at the state capitol on behalf of public school students for full funding of the Mississippi Adequate Education Program (MAEP) and has been a presenter at the Mississippi Association of School Superintendents annual conference. She has also conducted continuing education courses for the Mississippi School Boards Association (MSBA).
At the SSRC, Buffington has been a contributing editor for “About Children: An Authoritative Resource on the State of Childhood Today” and has contributed to the annual Mississippi KIDS COUNT Fact Book. She has been the Principal Investigator for four Annie E. Casey Foundation policy grants focusing on chronic absence and school disciplinary policies in Mississippi public schools. She also developed and facilitated a peer mentoring program, EMPOWR, for non-traditional women students enrolled in Mississippi Community Colleges. The EMPOWR program is sponsored by the Women’s Foundation of Mississippi. Currently, Buffington is one of two evaluators for the Office of Tobacco Control (Mississippi State Department of Health) programs in the state of Mississippi.
Buffington was the 2016 recipient of the Outstanding Professional Woman award presented annually by the President’s Commission on the Status of Women at Mississippi State University.