Delta Leadership Institute Now Accepting Applications for the 2020-2021 Executive Academy

May 18, 2020

CLARKSDALE, MS – Today, the Delta Regional Authority (DRA) launched the application cycle for the 2020-2021 Delta Leadership Institute (DLI) Executive Academy.  Since 2005, DLI has provided leadership development to more than 500 community leaders from diverse backgrounds, sectors, and industries to strengthen skills development, information sharing, regional collaboration, and improve the economic competitiveness and social viability of the Mississippi River Delta and Alabama Black Belt.

“The 252 counties and parishes served by the Delta Regional Authority make up one of the most distressed regions in the country, facing profound economic, health, educational, and infrastructure challenges,” said DRA Federal Co-Chairman Chris Caldwell.  “The Delta Leadership Institute Executive Academy is a comprehensive regional leadership development program designed to empower a corps of leaders throughout our eight-state region with the tools, experiences, and networks to address these local and regional challenges.”

Chosen through a competitive application process, the 2020-2021 Executive Academy class will include Fellows from each of the eight states in the DRA footprint.  DLI will be limited to 30 Fellows, comprised of representatives from the Delta’s public, private, and non-profit sectors.  Those interested can apply through August 18, 2020 at  The 2020-2021 DLI Executive Academy will run from November 2020-September 2021.

The DLI is an extensive ten-month program where Executive Academy Fellows travel to communities throughout the DRA’s footprint, exploring existing economic and community programs and best practices.  Throughout DLI’s six sessions, Fellows will focus on leadership development, infrastructure, workforce training and education, entrepreneurship and business development, and public health.

The DLI partners with regional institutions of higher education to support and educate leaders committed to helping create jobs, build their communities, and improve the lives of their neighbors.  Upon graduation, DLI Fellows become members of the Delta Leadership Network (DLN), which provides peer-to-peer engagement opportunities for continued leadership development, information sharing, and collaboration with other leaders dedicated to the future of the Delta region.

About the Delta Regional Authority

The Delta Regional Authority (DRA) is a federal-state partnership created by Congress in 2000 to promote and encourage the economic development of the lower Mississippi River Delta region and Alabama Black Belt.  DRA invests in projects supporting transportation infrastructure, basic public  infrastructure, workforce training, and business development.  DRA’s mission is to help create jobs, build communities, and improve the lives of those who reside in the 252 counties and parishes of the eight-state region.  Learn more at

Media Contact:
Shawna Blair

DRA Program Contact:
Aury Kangelos