Tom Pearson, Ed.D.

Dr. Pearson is the executive director of the Mississippi Arts Commission. Prior to that, he served as the arts education administrator for the School District of Palm Beach County, Florida where he assisted arts teachers and students at 187 schools enrolled with 172,000 students. He is a 36-year veteran in education and for 20 of those years, he taught band at the elementary, middle and high school levels and has conducted orchestras and professional wind ensembles. Pearson served as vice president for governmental relations on the Florida Alliance for Arts Education board of directors and was governmental and community relations chair for the Florida Music Educators' Association. He is past president of the Florida Alliance for Arts Education, and just served his final term on the seven-member Kennedy Center Advisory Board for Partners in Education. Pearson was the recipient of the 2009 Florida Alliance for Arts Education Administration and Leadership Award for the State of Florida, and guided the School District of Palm Beach County to the Kennedy Center/National School Board's School Board of the Year for Arts Education award in 2012.

Pearson received his bachelor's and master's degrees in music education from the University of Southern Mississippi and did postgraduate work at Berklee College of Music and the University of Miami. Pearson also holds an Educational Specialist Degree in Educational Leadership and a Doctorate in Education from Nova Southeastern University. He has played bluegrass with the Fulton-Holland Railroad and performs with a four-piece jazz ensemble.