The John C. Stennis Center for Public Service Leadership was established by Congress as a living tribute to the public service career of John C. Stennis who served in the United States Senate over 41 years. The center was created by Public Law 100-458, October 1, 1988, and is codified in the United States Code under Title 2-The Congress, Chapter 22. The Stennis Center develops and delivers a portfolio of unique programs for young people, leaders in local, state and federal government and congressional staff. These programs promote public service as a noble calling, enhance leadership skills and foster relationships among leaders with similar concerns.


Frequently Asked Questions


RexandHaroldThe Stennis Center’s congressional mandate is to attract young people to careers in public service, to provide training for leaders in or likely to be in public service, and to offer training and development opportunities for senior congressional staff, Members of Congress, and other public service leaders. Products of the Stennis Center include conferences, seminars, special projects, and leadership development programs.


The Stennis Center has five employees in Starkville, Mississippi and five in Washington, D.C.


The Stennis Center regularly reports on its work to Congress. Click on the report in the right column for the latest report.


The Stennis Center is governed by a Board of Trustees appointed by the Democratic and Republican leaders in the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives.


john-c-stennis-thumbIn his final United States Senate re-election campaign in 1982, John Stennis was faced with the most challenging race since his first Senate election in 1947. At an early campaign strategy meeting, he was bombarded with advice from campaign consultants on what to expect from the opponent and what would be required to win the race. He listened politely to the authoritative statements from the campaign experts who prefaced each imperative with: “To win, we will have to do this.” When the consultants paused to catch their breath, Senator Stennis seized the opportunity to inform them of a point he considered very important. “There is one thing you really need to understand before we go any further,” he told them as he looked each one in the eye around the table. “We don’t have to win.TESING”