Moran graduated from Georgetown University with bachelor"s and master"s degrees in finance/economics and international commerce. She graduated cum laude. Moran conducted graduate research at the Institute of World Economics in Germany as a Fulbright Scholar.
She was also an economist at the World Trade Organization in Geneva.
She is a former fellow of the Robert Bosch Foundation for German American Leadership, where she worked for the German Ministry of France. In 2006, she was selected to be the Bosch Alumnus of the Year for her leadership in Hurricane Katrina recovery efforts.
First elected to the position in 2005, Moran is in her third term as mayor of the city. She was reelected in 2009 and 2013, winning 62% of the vote in the latter year. Moran has served as president of Moran Consultants, a firm providing marketing and development service.
She also served for three years as director of Jackson County Economic Development, and for five years before that as managing director of the State of Mississippi European Office in Frankfurt, Germany, where she recruited new business to the state.
Moran is a native of Ocean Springs. Moran"s family has been in business in Ocean Springs for over 140 years.
Mayorship Moran was elected mayor of Ocean Springs in 2005. She was re-elected in 2009 and 2013.
= Hurricane Katrina Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast six weeks after Moran took office as mayor in 2005.
When Katrina destroyed 150 miles of coastline on August 29, 2005, Ocean Spring"s waterfront was devastated, but the historic downtown suffered no storm surge, and the damage was limited to roofs, windows and storefronts. Moran drew on her background as an economic development expert to develop a plan to rebuild the city, structurally and economically, while trying to retain the city"s historical value and contain urban sprawl while still advocating for growth. The mayor first gained national attention when she locked horns with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (Federal Emergency Management Agency).
Moran preferred "Katrina Cottages" to standard-issue mobile homes, which would likely not be used as permanent housing.
Moran said she wanted to be sure one of the oldest French colonies in the country (Ocean Springs was founded in 1699) maintained an element of traditionalism even as it recovered from the storm. Federal Emergency Management Agency allocated almost $400 million to bring in the alternate structures.
First Lady Laura Bush toured Ocean Springs and the Katrina Cottages with Moran in February 2007. Treasurer campaign Moran ran for Mississippi State Treasurer in 2011.
She received the Democratic Party nomination, but was defeated by Republican candidate Lynn Fitch in the general election.