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A true daughter of the Mississippi Delta, Heather McTeer Toney was the first African-American and first female to serve as Mayor of Greenville, MS (2004-2012). Currently, Heather is the Executive Director of the Women’s Institute for Excellence at…Full Bio Below »
A true daughter of the Mississippi Delta, Heather McTeer Toney was the first African-American and first female to serve as Mayor of Greenville, MS (2004-2012). Currently, Heather is the Executive Director of the Women’s Institute for Excellence at Mississippi Valley State University. She also owns her own businesses and is Principal Attorney at Heather McTeer, PLLC and President of START Strategies & Consulting Group. She serves as one of the National Spokeswomen for She Should Run!, a National Organization that encourages women to run for office, and is the State Director for the Political Institute for Women. Heather appears regularly on Women for Progress Radio 90.1FM in Jackson, with her show, Conversations with Heather and on WDSV Radio 91.9FM in the Delta with her show, Let’s Talk. Heather is an expert with SheSource, a publication of the Women’s Media Center.
The daughter of a civil rights attorney and public school teacher, Heather was born and raised in Greenville. While many of her friends were leaving Mississippi, Heather returned home to work as a member of McTeer & Associates Law Firm. Throughout her legal career, she has handled a diverse group of cases ranging from employment discrimination to medical malpractice and was well versed in the corporate political arena. It was while working in Greenville, that she realized how many community needs were unattended, and how few women were involved in the process. In 2003, McTeer was elected Mayor of the City of Greenville and re-elected for a second term in 2007. Under her leadership, the city thrived. The City got out of debt, received millions of dollars in grants and federal assistance, completed major infrastructure projects, involved the city in health and wellness across the city. She also focused on health and wellness, women’s issues, speaking out against domestic violence, unfair legislation and labor practices in the State of Mississippi. Heather has worked around the world advocating for healthy children, women in leadership in countries such as Kenya, France, Martinique, Nigeria and Senegal.
In 2011 McTeer decided to run for Congress in one of the toughest primaries in the nation. Heather focused on education, health and infrastructure. She was endorsed by several women’s organizations during the campaign. Though unsuccessful in her first bid for Congress, Heather is dedicated to assisting, educating and training other women to run on all levels of political office. Together with her husband, their businesses, provided Title I services to high school mothers to help improve their reading comprehension and language arts skills. They also work in the areas of government consulting and contracting.
Heather McTeer Toney has received numerous award and honors. She has appeared on news outlets such as CNN, Fox News, MSNBC and C-Span. She has been featured in The Washington Post, Jackson Clarion Ledger, Jet Magazine, Essence Magazine and The Mississippi Business Journal. She is also a published author in, Voices of Historical and Contemporary Black American Pioneers Vol. 2. McTeer was featured in the May 2005 issue of Essence Magazine as one of the “50 Most Remarkable Women in the World.” She was featured in the November 2011 issue of Marie Claire magazine as the “Top Politician” in their annual “Women On Top” awards. She was also recognized by Black Entertainment Television (BET) as a “Black Woman In Politics That Rock!” Most recently, Heather is included in the PBS/AOL documentary entitled “MAKERS”, where she appears alongside noted women such as Hilary Clinton and Condoleezza Rice.
Heather is active in her community and an advocate for women’s issues, health and education. Heather has traveled to over 10 different counties and is a sought after speaker. She enjoys reading, running and has completed a marathon, triathlon and numerous other races. She is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., and serves on the board of directors for Khafre, Inc., a group dedicated to erecting a memorial to Cotton Pickers of America. She is an active member of New Living Way Christian Fellowship church in Greenville, MS. Heather is married to Dexter Toney and they have two children, Dexter and Deriah.
B.A. Spelman College
J.D. Tulane University
Mississippi Bar Association
Magnolia Bar Association
Washington County Bar Association
Young Elected Officials Network
EPA Local Government Advisory Committee, Past Chair
Past President, National Conference of Black Mayors