Residents Businesses Visitors Government Search Directory Home
Office of the Mayor-President

Mayor Home

Line Break
Biographical Information
Line Break
Line Break
State of the City Address
Line Break
Green Light Plan - Building Better Roads for East Baton Rouge Parish
Line Break

Helpful Resources
Blue Bullet Business with BR
Blue Bullet Hands on Banking External web link not maintained by City of Baton Rouge
Blue Bullet International
Relations External web link not maintained by City of Baton Rouge
Line Break
Special Projects
Blue Bullet Mayor's Healthy City Initiative
Task Force
Blue Bullet Mayor's Youth Advisory Council
Blue Bullet Office of Neighborhoods
Blue Bullet Americans with Disabilities Task Force
Line Break

Biographical Information

Mayor-President's Holden's seal

Melvin L. “Kip” Holden

Mayor-President Melvin “Kip” Holden

City of Baton Rouge/Parish of East Baton Rouge

Mayor-President Melvin “Kip” Holden


Mayor-President Melvin “Kip” Holden was overwhelmingly re-elected to his third term as Mayor-President of the City of Baton Rouge and East Baton Rouge Parish in a primary victory on November 6, 2012. Under his leadership, East Baton Rouge Parish has achieved unprecedented top ten national rankings: the #1 best city for business growth; #4 for new corporate facilities; #3 best performing city for salary growth; #7 best city for jobs; #8 best place to live in America; one of top 25 places in America to retire and a top 10 city for young adults.

Throughout his two terms as Mayor-President, Mayor Holden has maintained public safety as his top priority, with all first responders under the Mayor’s administration receiving the highest national accreditation in their respective areas: the Baton Rouge Fire Department; Baton Rouge Police Department; EMS and the Mayor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness.

In 2012, Mayor Holden worked with the District Attorney to launch the Baton Rouge Area Violence Elimination project – called BRAVE -- a local initiative to reduce violent crime. Working with the District Attorney, School Superintendent and Sheriff, he opened the Family and Youth Service Center, the parish’s first truancy center to improve school attendance and reduce juvenile crime.

The Mayor’s Green Light Program has committed over $500 million to street improvements, with nearly 30 projects completed by the close of 2012. Active in the U.S. Conference of Mayors, Mayor Holden launched a successful “Healthy BR” program in partnership with the Healthy Cities Initiative. His Healthy BR Initiative promotes better nutrition and active lifestyles, and has tackled the critical problems of childhood obesity and access to healthy food, making a difference in the quality of lives of children throughout the parish.

Recognized nationally in 2005 for his leadership during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Mayor Holden led his community through Hurricane Gustav in 2008, which required a different, but equally important response when the city-parish received extensive wind damage and three-week power outages in some areas. With East Baton Rouge Parish the most populated parish in Louisiana as of the 2010 Census, Mayor Holden led a community-wide planning effort that resulted in strong public participation and a master plan for growth and development – called FuturEBR – that was unanimously adopted by the Metro Council and is a blueprint for progress in our community for the next 25 years.

Prior to 2004, he had achieved a 20-year distinguished career in public service, elected Mayor-President by a broad, diverse base of support throughout the parish to become the first African American Mayor-President in parish history on January 1, 2005.

Much of the success of his first term in office can be traced to the foundation laid by a diverse team of over 100 community leaders, citizens and university students Mayor Holden assembled immediately after his election in 2004 to form his “Green Light Baton Rouge Citizens Council” to help develop the “Framework for Progress”, a planning document which serves as the basis of his administration’s goal to make Baton Rouge America’s next great city.

This framework lead him to embark on an ambitious, successful journey to revitalize Downtown Baton Rouge, create an arts and entertainment district and market Baton Rouge to the film and video industry. He has the city moving on a riverfront master plan, with construction of a new, high-tech, award winning Town Square providing more venues for arts and cultural activities.

Throughout his career, Mayor Holden has worked to improve education and has been honored for his accomplishments. As Mayor-President, he has delivered new volunteer programs and technology partnerships for East Baton Rouge Parish Public Schools, including the largest software donation in East Baton Rouge Parish history, a $307 million grant from UGS that will provide 3-D imaging software for classes in math, science and the arts for students from the third grade through high school to help prepare them for the jobs of tomorrow.

Mayor Holden is a graduate of both Baton Rouge universities, earning a B.A. in Journalism from LSU, a Masters degree in Journalism from Southern University, a Juris Doctorate from Southern University School of Law and an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Public Policy from Southern University. He was also invited to study at the Oxford University Round Table in England. Mayor Holden was recently honored by both universities by being inducted into the LSU Alumni Hall of Distinction, the LSU Manship School of Communications Hall of Fame and the Southern University Law Center Hall of Fame.

With experience on the Metro Council and as a member of the Louisiana House of Representatives and Senate, Mayor Holden has extensive knowledge of East Baton Rouge Parish government.

Born in New Orleans on August 12, 1952, Mayor Holden is married to Lois Stevenson Holden and is the father of five children, Melvin, II; Angela; Monique; Myron and Brian Michael. He is a member of Greater King David Baptist Church.


  • Oxford University Round Table, Oxford, England, 2002
  • National Institute of Trial Advocacy, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, 1998 Graduate
  • Southern University School of Law, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Juris Doctorate, 1985
  • Southern University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Master of Arts, Journalism, 1982
  • Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Bachelors of Arts, Journalism, 1974 1974
  • Scotlandville Senior High School, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, 1970 Graduate

Professional Experience

  • Mayor-President, City of Baton Rouge, Parish of East Baton Rouge, current
  • National League of Cities Board Member, current
  • National League of Cities Advisory Council, current
  • National League of Cities Council for Youth, Education and Families, current member, Chair 2007
  • Pennington Biomedical Research Center Ex-Officio Board Member, current
  • Louisiana State Senator, District 15
  • Law Firm: Melvin "Kip" Holden & Associates
  • Southern University School of Law, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Adjunct Professor of Law, 1991-present
  • Louisiana House of Representatives, State Representative, District 63, 1988-2001
  • Councilman, Baton Rouge Metro Council District 2, 1984-1988
  • Louisiana Department of Labor Office of Workers’ Compensation, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Former Law Clerk
  • Baton Rouge City Police, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Former Public Information Officer
  • United States Census Bureau, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Public Relations Specialist
  • WBRZ Channel 2, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Reporter, 1978-1979
  • WWL Radio, New Orleans, Louisiana, Reporter, 1977-1978
  • WXOK Radio, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, News Director, 1975-1977

Academic Awards and Honors

  • LSU Alumni Hall of Distinction
  • LSU Manship School of Mass Communications Hall of Fame
  • Southern University Law Center Hall of Fame
  • Louisiana Justice Hall of Fame
  • Louisiana Political Hall of Fame
  • Louisiana 4-H Hall of Fame
  • 2013 Of Moving Colors Prism Award for Community Service
  • 2012 Peoples Health Champion Award for Excellence through Experience
  • 2012 Tournament of Stars Award for Outstanding Leadership and Service
  • 2011 Baton Rouge Primary Care Collaborative Community Partnership Award
  • 2011 Blue Cross Blue Shield Living Legend
  • 2010 Novogradac Community Development Foundation Public Executive of the Year Award
  • 2010 People’s Health Illustrious LSU Alumnus
  • 2009 Partner America Small Business Advocate Award
  • 2009 Patron of Landscape Architecture
  • International Union of Police Associations Meritorious Service Award
  • 2008 Lambda Alpha Chapter, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Citizen of the Year Award
  • 2008 Cenikor Community Award
  • 2007 Rear Admiral Isaac C. Kidd Meritorious Service Award
  • 2007 Brotherhood/Sisterhood Award
  • 2007 Baton Rouge Growth Coalition, Quality of Life Award for Outstanding Contributions, Community and Public Service
  • 2007 Military Order of the Purple Heart Distinguished Service Award
  • 2007 BREC Trailblazer Award
  • 2007 Louisiana Emergency Preparedness Dedication Award
  • 2007 International Black Broadcasters Association Leadership Award
  • 2006 American Planning Association, Louisiana Chapter, Distinguished Leadership Award
  • 2006 Award Winner, Academic Distinction Fund
  • 2006 UGS Innovative Leadership Award
  • 2006 National Conference of Black Mayors Valiant Award for Balanced Government
  • 2006 225 Magazine Best of Awards, Best Politician
  • Network 2005 Legend Award
  • 2005 Blues Foundation Slim Harpo Award, Blues Ambassador
  • Sierra Club, selected "Outstanding Legislator"
  • Association of Retarded Citizens of Louisiana, "2003 Legislator of the Year Award"
  • "Louisiana Community & Technical College System Award," 2003
  • Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., "2003 Meritorious Service Award"
  • Community Against Drugs & Violence, Inc., 2003 Award
  • Southern University, "2004 Outstanding Service Award Track & Field"
  • Scotlandville High School Alumni Association, "2002 Dedicated Elected Official Award"
  • “Fleur de Lis Leadership Award” in Health Care 2002
  • Louisiana Federation of Teachers, "2004 Friend of Education Award"
  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency & Office of Environmental Justice, "2002 National Environmental Justice Advisory Council Service Award"
  • Louisiana Federation of Teachers, "2003 Senator of the Year Award"
  • Greater Baton Rouge Pan, Hellenic Council, "2003 Award"
  • Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. Gulf Coast Region, "2004 Distinguished Service Award"
  • Louisiana School of Psychological Association, "2003 Friend of School Psychology Award"
  • New Orleans Regional Chamber of Commerce, Metro Vision
  • Economic Development Partnership, "2003 Economic Development Champion Award"
  • Louisiana Association of Educators, selected "Outstanding Legislator"
  • Selected Lecturer on environmental matters facing local, state and federal governments for numerous forums
  • "Brown Pelican Award," as one of the Environmental Legislators of Louisiana
  • Southern University Law Center, "Outstanding Alumni"
  • Southern University, "Outstanding Alumni of the Century"