Parisi takes on new MSU European development role; Grice named interim NSPARC director

Contact: James Carskadon

Studio Portrait of Mimmo Parisi
Mimmo Parisi (Photo by Russ Houston)

STARKVILLE, Miss.—Mimmo Parisi, founder of Mississippi State’s National Strategic Planning and Analysis Research Center (NSPARC), is taking on a new position as MSU’s senior advisor for European development. NSPARC Deputy Executive Director Steven Grice is now serving as the center’s interim executive director. 

In this part-time role, Parisi will work to advance MSU’s visibility and reputation in Europe, positioning the university to secure new international research and development partnerships. Parisi will continue in his position as president of Italy’s National Agency for Active Labour Policies, or ANPAL, the Italian agency charged with improving unemployment. Parisi has spent the last year as ANPAL’s president while taking a leave of absence from MSU. In his new position at MSU, he will jointly report to the Office of the Provost and Executive Vice President and the Office of Research and Economic Development. 

Studio Portrait of Steven Grice
Steven Grice (Photo by Russ Houston)

Grice takes the reins as NSPARC’s leader after spending five years as deputy executive director, during which he was responsible for the planning, policy development and analysis, and business development functions within the center. He also coordinated the center’s administrative, information technology, security, communication, finance and policy functions. 

“Dr. Parisi’s work at MSU and in Italy has made him a recognized international leader in using data science to positively impact real-world problems,” said MSU Interim Vice President for Research and Economic Development Julie Jordan, who also serves as executive director of MSU’s International Institute. “His relationships abroad will help MSU take advantage of emerging research and development opportunities in Europe, leading to more international engagement for our faculty and students. 

“Dr. Grice has played an instrumental role in NSPARC’s growth and success. I appreciate him taking on this leadership position as the center continues its impactful work,” Jordan said. 

Since its founding in 1998, NSPARC has led data science initiatives aimed at improving government, education, workforce and economic outcomes. The center has grown to more than 70 researchers and staff and earned a proven track record of quality work with more than 200 national, state and local entities. 

With a background in demography and applied statistics, Parisi has published more than 250 articles, book chapters, policy briefs and reports that address complex issues of equality across various social groups. Among many professional accolades, he is a past recipient of MSU’s Ralph E. Powe Research Excellence Award, the university’s highest research honor, and in 2018 he was honored by former Gov. Phil Bryant and the State Personnel Board with the Excellence in Local and District Government Award. 

A 21-year employee at MSU, Grice received his doctorate in sociology from the university in 2005. He has expertise in applying data science to education, economics, workforce development and other areas to improve governmental and business efficiency. At NSPARC, he supervises the work of research faculty, postdoctoral researchers and support staff, in addition to managing activities and communication with external partners and stakeholders. 

NSPARC is nationally recognized for creating technology and solutions powered by data science. The center uses expertise in data analytics, predictive analytics, machine learning, artificial intelligence, system of systems, data governance, cybersecurity, and high-performance computing to develop solutions that further human progress. For more information, visit

As a National Science Foundation Top 100 and Carnegie Foundation R1 “Very High Research Activity” university, MSU leads impactful global research efforts reaching all seven continents. The university’s prominent research activities enable fruitful international partnerships that bring people together from around the world to develop solutions to universal problems. For more on MSU’s global initiatives, visit  

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