DRA Announces University Consortium for 2019-2020 Delta Leadership Institute

July 24, 2019

CLARKSDALE, MS – Today, the Delta Regional Authority (DRA) announced the four university partners selected to expand and build upon the nationally-recognized Delta Leadership Institute (DLI). DRA will continue its existing partnership with The University of Alabama College of Continuing Studies, Arkansas State University Delta Center for Economic Development, and the University of Louisiana-Monroe. To emphasize the agency’s commitment to providing the Delta’s premier leadership academy, DRA has also selected the University of Arkansas Walton College Executive Education to join the consortium to provide executive leadership education and training to DLI Fellows.

“DRA is proud to partner with these universities to enhance the work of the Delta Leadership Institute,” said Federal Co-Chairman Chris Caldwell. “The DLI Executive Academy has trained more than 500 leaders from across the region, and DRA is committed to providing the next generation of fellows with innovative learning opportunities and field experiences so that they can use these strategies, resources, and tools in their communities to improve quality of life.”

The mission of DLI is to recognize, train, and develop in its participants the leadership skills needed for the 21st century in order to face the global challenges of the future. DRA requests proposals from institutions of higher education within the Delta region to work in partnership with DRA to develop innovative service delivery models preparing a cadre of leaders working for future improvements in the region by “thinking and acting regionally.”

“The Sam M. Walton College of Business is excited and proud to be an additional resource to help Mississippi River Delta communities take advantage of the growth opportunities that exist in the emerging global economy” said Dr. Brent Williams, Associate Dean for Executive Education and Outreach. “Walton Executive Education looks forward to providing programming to Delta community leaders alongside the other esteemed university partners. Our leadership development programming will help Delta leaders capitalize on both the challenges and the opportunities of the future.”

DRA has provided its leadership program for fourteen years including both an executive leadership academy and active alumni network. The focus of the Executive Academy is on regional leadership and topics important to DRA and the region such as economic and community development, public infrastructure and transportation, workforce training and education, small business development and entrepreneurship, and public health. The DLI

Executive Academy trains leaders from diverse backgrounds, sectors, and industries to improve the economic competitiveness and social viability of the Mississippi River Delta and Alabama Black Belt region. Upon completion of the DLI Executive Academy, the participants should possess the knowledge and skills necessary to make a direct impact in their respective community, county/parish, and state.

The 2019-2020 DLI Executive Academy begins this November in Natchez, Mississippi, and will continue with five sessions held at various locations throughout the eight-state region.

More information on the Delta Leadership Institute, including the program calendar and application process, is available at www.dra.gov/leadership.

About the Delta Regional Authority

Established in 2000 by Congress, the Delta Regional Authority makes strategic investments of federal appropriations into the physical and human infrastructure of Delta communities. Led by the Delta Regional Authority Board-comprised of the Federal Co-Chairman, appointed by the President and confirmed by the U.S. Senate, and the governors of the eight states-the Delta Regional Authority fosters local and regional partnerships that address economic and social challenges to ultimately strengthen the Delta economy and the quality of life for Delta residents. The Delta Regional Authority works to improve regional economic opportunity by helping to create jobs, build communities, and improve the lives of the 10 million people who reside in the 252 counties and parishes of the eight-state Delta region.

Media Contact: Susan Edwards

Program Contact: Aury Kangelos