Delta Regional Authority Continues Partnership with Harvard Kennedy School for Leadership Training

July 01, 2022

39 leaders from the eight-state Delta region graduate from executive leadership training in Cambridge, MA.

CAMBRIDGE, MA – Delta Regional Authority (DRA) is continuing its partnership with Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government (HKS) to offer an education opportunity exclusively to alumni of the Delta Leadership Institute (DLI) Executive Academy. The program, designed and led by Harvard faculty, focuses on modern leadership principles to advance one’s ability to solve real-world challenges. This week, 39 DLI alumni from across the eight-state Mississippi River Delta and Alabama Black Belt regions graduated with an HKS Executive Education Certificate in Authentic Leadership.

“This year’s class of HKS Authentic Leadership graduates represents a diverse cohort of community leaders from throughout the DRA region,” said DRA Federal Co-Chairman Dr. Corey Wiggins. “Delta Regional Authority’s partnership with the Harvard University Kennedy School of Government provides invaluable leadership training, and I am proud that we can invest in the people that are advancing opportunity and furthering DRA’s mission to improve the lives of people living in the DRA region.” 

As part of DRA’s ongoing intentionality to increase the agency’s diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts, this year DRA made available a travel stipend with special consideration to applicants who represent and/or work with historically disadvantaged communities.

The 2022 Authentic Leadership participants include:

Arlisa Armstrong | Brownsville, TN

State Director, USDA – Rural Development

 

Carrie Banks | Montgomery, AL

Communications Director, Alabama League of Municipalities

 

Deborah Barnett | Marion, IL

Associate Director, SIU Research Park

 

Karen Burks | St. Francisville, LA

Career and Workforce Development Trainer, Urban League of Louisiana

 

Shad Burner | Cape Girardeau, MO

Director of Federal Initiatives, Missouri Department of Economic Development 

 

Jake Bynum | Dresden, TN

County Mayor, Weakley County, TN

 

Ollie Davison | Birmingham, AL

Deputy District Director, Congresswoman Terri Sewell

 

Susan Edwards | Little Rock, AR

Program Analyst | Delta Regional Authority

 

Friday Ellis | Monroe, LA

Mayor, City of Monroe, LA

 

Trish Erzfeld | Perryville, MO

Director, Perry County Heritage Tourism

 

Adam Fogleman | Little Rock, AR

County Attorney, Pulaski County Government, AR

 

Doug Friend | Sikeston, MO

Executive Director, Sikeston Housing Authority

 

Russ Garner | Brooksville, MS

Extension/Research Associate, Southern Rural Development Center

 

Dr. Moses Goldmon | Monticello, AR

Vice Chancellor for Student Engagement, University of Arkansas at Monticello

 

Dr. Suzzette Goldmon | Monticello, AR

Assistant Professor & Coordinator, Hospitality and Tourism Management, University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff

 

Melinda Goode | Dresden, TN

Executive Director, Northwest Tennessee Development District

 

LaShasa Griffin | Jonestown, MS

Executive Assistant, Delta Regional Authority

 

Shannon Heard | Little Rock, AR

Associate Director of Executive Education, University of Arkansas

 

Chris Hinton | Ridgeland, MS

Community Development Manager, Entergy Mississippi

 

Alonda Jackson | Moorhead, MS

Accounting & Human Resources Supervisor, Delta Regional Authority

 

Jody Johnson | Goreville, IL

County Extension Director, University of Illinois Extension

 

Rachel Langley Hayes | Crossett, AR

Field Representative, Congressman Bruce Westerman

 

Kathy Medley | Sikeston, MO

Executive Vice President, Sikeston Regional Chamber and Economic Development Corp.

 

Mary Anne Medlock | Murray, KY

Business Services Liaison, West Kentucky Workforce Board

 

Andrew Murphy | Poplar Bluff, MO

Assistant Director, Ozark Foothills Regional Planning Commission

 

Phyllis Nunn | Paducah, KY

Success Coach, McCracken County Jail

 

Clint O’Neal | Conway, AR

Deputy Director, Arkansas Economic Development Commission

 

Tracey Prince | Walls, MS

Executive Director, BDT Housing Services Enterprise

 

Jennifer Reaves | Jonesboro, AR

Community Education Specialist, Arkansas Department of Health

 

Brooke Simmons | Union City, TN

Community Relations Director, Obion County Joint Economic Development Corporation

 

Chase Smith | Fayetteville, AR

Event Sales Coordinator, University of Arkansas

 

Karen Stallman | Ellis Grove, IL

Agriculture Resource Specialist, Illinois Department of Agriculture and the Southern Illinois University School of Medicine Center for Rural Health and Social Service Development 

 

Eddie Thomas | Little Rock, AR

Assistant Director, Arkansas Division of Workforce Services

 

Ardyn Thriffiley | New Orleans, LA

President, Ardyn M. Thriffiley & Associates, Inc.

 

Kent Waide | Madisonville, KY

Business Development Platform Manager, Advantage Kentucky Alliance

 

Byron Washington | Baton Rouge, LA

Manager, Verizon Wireless; Board President, North Baton Rouge Now, Inc.

 

Dr. Victor Wilburn | Cape Girardeau, MO

Professor and Chair, Department of Child and Family Studies, Southeast Missouri State University

 

Jason Willett | Jonesboro, AR

President, FJW Consulting, LLC

 

Mark York | Equality, IL

Retired

 

The program was led by retired Air Force Brigadier General Dana Born, Co-Director at the Center for Public Leadership at HKS.  The 2022 Authentic Leadership executive education program marks the 5th year of partnership between HKS and DRA.

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About the Delta Regional Authority

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 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.

DRA Media Contact:
Shawna Blair
202-515-1354
sblair@dra.gov