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Four Campus Leaders to Attend Harvard Kennedy School for Executive, Leadership Training


JONESBORO – Four leaders of the Arkansas State University community will visit the Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) to participate in executive training and leadership development as part of the Delta Regional Authority (DRA) Delta Leadership Institute’s partnership with HKS.

Dr. Karen McDaniel, associate professor of management, and Peggy Wright, instructor of political science and director of the Department of Political Science’s Delta Studies Center, are two of the DLI seven attendees representing the state of Arkansas.

Shawnie Carrier, executive director for the Delta Center for Economic Development, and Andrea Allen, deputy director of the DCED, will attend as part of the DRA Delta Leadership Institute staff.

“I am very grateful for this opportunity to expand my knowledge and practice of authentic leadership,” said McDaniel. “I look forward to implementing new leadership practices on campus, in our community and in the Delta region. Furthermore, I believe my graduate leadership students will benefit from hearing about my experiences at Harvard. I work hard to develop authentic, servant leaders in our MBA program. ” 

The four-day session, Monday through Thursday, Nov. 27-30, offers an advanced education opportunity exclusively to members of the Delta Leadership Network. The program, designed and led by Harvard faculty, focuses on cultivating “authentic leadership” to move Delta communities forward. The Delta Leadership Institute (DLI) will send 41 representatives from across the eight states of the DRA footprint.

Retired Air Force Brig. Gen. Dana Born, co-director of the Center for Public Leadership at HKS, will lead the session in Cambridge, Mass. 

“This executive training will equip regional leaders across the Delta with the latest advancements in leadership skills and will prepare them to make positive changes in their local communities,” said Peter Kinder, DRA’s alternate federal co-chairman. “These participants are alumni of the Delta Leadership Institute’s Executive Academy and were selected due to the leadership they have exemplified in their communities and their ability to translate these experiences to actionable solutions for the region.”

The class includes six members from Alabama; seven from Arkansas; six from Illinois; two from Kentucky; four from Louisiana; four from Mississippi; six from Missouri; and six from Tennessee. The group reflects the diversity of the Delta region and includes public, private, and non-profit leaders that have graduated from the DLI’s Executive Academy. Chairman Kinder, DLI director Spencer Lucker, and select DLI staff will participate with the delegation of Delta leaders in the continuing education session.

Since 2005, the Delta Leadership Institute has worked to strengthen the knowledge and skills of community leaders across the Delta by broadening their understanding of regional issues and building a corps of alumni that have a regional and national perspective. DLI is a program of the Delta Regional Authority in partnership with three institutions of higher education from DRA states: The University of Alabama, Arkansas State University and the University of Louisiana Monroe.

About the Delta Regional Authority and the Delta Leadership Institute

The DRA 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 and infrastructure projects in 252 counties and parishes across eight states. DRA has provided leadership development to nearly 500 community leaders over 12 years and strengthened regional collaboration through the Delta Leadership Institute. Learn more at dra.gov/leadership.

About Harvard Kennedy School

Harvard Kennedy School aims to improve public policy and public leadership in the United States and around the world through research, teaching and direct engagement with policymakers and public leaders. Nearly 20,000 alumni of the school’s degree programs and 44,000 people who have taken executive education courses at the school work in more than 200 countries. In addition, faculty, staff, and students of the school are currently undertaking projects to advance knowledge and strengthen public policy and leadership in dozens of countries.

For additional information, contact Joshua Price at jprice@dra.gov or by phone at (501) 270-5511 or Spencer Lucker at slucker@dra.gov or (501) 416-3789.

Dr. Karen McDaniel

Peggy Wright

Shawnie Carrier

Andrea Allen