The Mississippi Special Olympics has a new leader.

Monica Daniels took over as executive director of the Madison-based organization on Dec. 1.

She brings more than 20 years of experience in management and fundraising to the nonprofit that provides programming to some 4,000 people with intellectual disabilities in Mississippi

According to the news release announcing her appointment, Daniels will continue developing the organization’s strategic plan, which includes helping children and adults with intellectual disabilities “developing physical fitness, demonstrating courage, experiencing joy, and participating in the sharing of gifts, skills and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics athletes and their communities.”

She earned a bachelor’s degree from Delta State University and a master’s degree from Southern Illinois University.

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Ryan L. Nave, a native of University City, Mo., served as Mississippi Today's editor-in-chief from May 2018 until April 2020. Ryan began his career with Mississippi Today February 2016 as an original member of the editorial team. He became news editor August 2016. Ryan has a bachelor’s in political science from the University of Missouri-Columbia and has worked for Illinois Times and served as news editor for the Jackson Free Press.