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Delta Regional Authority Selects Arkansas State for New Partnership for Delta Leadership Institute


JONESBORO, Ark. — Following a request for proposals earlier this year, the Delta Regional Authority (DRA) announced that Arkansas State will join the Delta Leadership Institute (DLI) as part of a tri-state collaboration to build a comprehensive regional leadership program that focuses on issues affecting the Delta region.

Arkansas State, along with the University of Mississippi and the University of Louisiana at Monroe, are the lead partners with support from several additional entities and partners to work together in this innovative partnership. The program brings community leaders from eight states (Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri and Tennessee) to participate in a yearlong Executive Academy for Regional Leaders.

"The Delta Regional Authority has been a driving force in our state and throughout the Delta,” Chancellor Tim Hudson said. “The Delta Leadership Institute has a history of training leaders to impact and benefit the communities in which they live. Arkansas State's role in fostering those leaders who will help our Delta thrive falls completely in line with our mission to educate leaders, enhance intellectual growth and enrich lives. We look forward to a productive partnership."

The mission of the Delta Leadership Institute is to recognize, train, and develop in its participants in the eight-state region the leadership skills needed for the 21st Century in order to face the global challenges of the future. The DRA Board has initiated various programs to help the residents of the Delta reach these goals. One of the priorities of the DRA is to improve the leadership skills of the region’s current and future leaders.

“The Delta Center for Economic Development at Arkansas State University appreciates the Delta Regional Authority’s long-term goal of regional transformation through leadership development,” stated Alan McVey, executive director of ASU’s Delta Center for Economic Development. “Arkansas State is honored and excited to help direct the Delta Leadership Institute’s future and develop innovative catalysts within the region.”

“Developing great leadership in our communities is key to economic growth in the Delta region,” added Chris Masingill, DRA federal co-chairman.

The DLI is the vehicle through which the DRA pursues these efforts. These DLI programs have and will continue to create a team of leaders that work together for future improvements to the region by “thinking and acting regionally.”

“Developing great leadership in our communities is key to economic growth in the Delta region,’’ continued Masingill. “I am thankful to the University of Alabama and Dean Carolyn Dahl for their tremendous leadership over the last seven years. I look forward to the exciting things to come from this innovative partnership as we continue to expand the economic and leadership development efforts of this program.”

The Delta Regional Authority is a federal-state partnership that serves 252 counties and parishes in parts of Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri and Tennessee. The Delta Leadership Institute is possible through a strong relationship with the United States Department of Agriculture.

The Rural Communities Advancement Program funds regional initiatives with the guiding principal to create greater leverage for additional funding, collaboration, and partnerships with private and public resources for community and project investment in the Delta region.