Although often referred to as Mississippi's think tank, the John C. Stennis Institute of Government is much more. If the legislature needs a definitive study on the effects of a change in state law, a municipal government desires a salary survey, or an association of government officials requests training on the latest legal issues, the Institute responds with its wide variety of resources.
The Institute is often called on to provide technical assistance and consultation to local governments and community leaders regarding economic and community development matters. Foundations look to Stennis for quality research and study of public policy issues. And the Institute has on staff trained facilitators who can lead community groups through discursive discourse on topics ranging from of local issues of genuine public conflict, to land use planning initiatives, to community capacity building, to more ethereal discussions about confidence in government, electing or appointing judges, amendments in ethics legislation and the like.
Based at Mississippi's land grant university, the Institute also focuses on students enrolled in the College of Arts and Sciences who seek careers in public service.