Delta Leadership Institute now accepting applications for 2018-2019 Executive Academy

May 15, 2018

CLARKSDALE, Miss. — The Delta Regional Authority (DRA) today opened its application cycle for the 2018-2019 Delta Leadership Institute Executive Academy. Since 2005, the Delta Leadership Institute (DLI) has trained a diverse group of community leaders dedicated to improving their communities.

Delta residents interested in the 2018-2019 Executive Academy can apply through July 16 at

“DLI works with leaders in Delta communities to improve economic opportunities and enhance workforce competitiveness across our region,” DRA Chairman Chris Caldwell said. “The Executive Academy trains local leaders to share best practices and implement successful ideas in the Delta region and collaborate with public and private partners to address local and regional challenges. Building A Better Delta starts on the local level and our agency is committed to developing leadership for generations to come.”

DLI was created to support and educate leaders committed to helping create jobs, build their communities and improve the lives of their neighbors. DLI provides professional leadership and policy training on issues that advance the economic and workforce competitiveness of Delta communities.

DLI fellows attend seven sessions over 10 months, traveling to communities in each of DRA’s eight states. Fellows explore existing programs and community models in the Delta, including discussions that enhance community engagement. Field experiences focus on improving the region, with an emphasis on economic development, infrastructure, workforce training and education, entrepreneurship and public health.

Upon graduation, DLI fellows become members of the Delta Leadership Network (DLN), which provides opportunities to engage in continued learning, information sharing and collaboration within their states and across the Delta region. 

2018-2019 Schedule

Session I: Orientation
Memphis, Tennessee | Week of October 29-November 2, 2018

Session II: Improving Workforce Competitiveness
Vicksburg, Mississippi | Week of December 3-7, 2018

Session III: Delta Leadership Network Conference
Little Rock, Arkansas | Week of February 4-8, 2019

Session IV: Strengthening Modern Infrastructure
New Orleans, Louisiana | Week of March 25-29, 2019

Session V: Increasing Community Capacity
Alabama Black Belt | Week of May 13-17, 2019

Session VI: Organizing for Community Success
Cape Girardeau, Missouri | Week of June 17-21, 2019

Session VII: Graduation
Lake Barkley, Kentucky | Week of August 5-9, 2019

*All dates represent the week the session will be held, but the class will only meet for 3-4 days during that week.

About the Delta Leadership Institute

The Delta Leadership Institute is a program of the Delta Regional Authority in partnership with the University of Alabama, Arkansas State University, and the University of Louisiana at Monroe. Through its Executive Academy, DLI has provided leadership development to more than 500 community leaders over thirteen years and strengthened skills development, information sharing, and regional collaboration. DLI maintains an environment for continued education and engagement for its alumni through the Delta Leadership Network. Learn more at

About the Delta Regional Authority

The Delta Regional Authority is a federal-state partnership created by Congress in 2000 to help create jobs, build communities, and improve lives through strategic investments in economic development in 252 counties and parishes across eight states. DRA has invested more than $185 million into more than 1,100 projects. Overall, DRA investments have helped create and retain more than 55,000 jobs, train nearly 45,000 workers to advance in the 21st Century, and deliver sewer and water improvements to more than 238,000 residents and businesses. Learn more at

Media Contact: Andrew Moreau
(202) 744-3558

Program Contact: Spencer Lucker
(501) 416-3789