Delta Regional Authority graduates 2023 class from Leadership Development Program

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Delta Leadership Institute leaders pictured (left to right) are Edmund Buckner; Alfonzo White; Mary Williams; Dr. Corey Wiggins; Whitney French; Tracey Rosebud; Otis Anthony, II; and Keandre Haywood.

JANS – Delta Regional Authority (DRA) graduated 37 regional leaders from the Delta Leadership Institute (DLI) Executive Academy, an extensive, nine-month leadership development program that brings together public, private, and nonprofit sector leaders from the Mississippi River Delta and Alabama Black Belt regions. The 2023 DLI Executive Academy Class was selected through a competitive application process led by DRA’s eight state governors and DRA’s federal co-chairman. 

“The Delta Leadership Institute Executive Academy is an essential instrument for nurturing community placemaking and capacity building in the Delta region,” said Federal Co-Chairman, Dr. Corey Wiggins. “This program equips a dedicated and diverse group of leaders to drive change within and outside of their communities and accelerate prosperity across the region.”

Since 2005, the DLI Executive Academy has provided leadership development to more than 700 community leaders from diverse backgrounds, sectors, and industries to improve economic competitiveness and social viability throughout the Delta region. DRA created the program to empower a corps of leaders with the tools, experiences, and networks to address local and regional economic development challenges.

The graduates participated in six in-person sessions led by local, regional, and national experts and covered policy areas and skills related to public infrastructure, regional transportation systems, workforce development, coalition-building, and other fields necessary to facilitate economic development in the Delta. As a result, DLI Executive Academy fellows graduate with enhanced decision-making skills, policy development know-how, strengthened leadership capacity, and a mutual understanding of regional, state, and local culture and issues. 

The 2023 DLI Executive Academy graduates from Mississippi are:

Otis Anthony, II, Mississippi State Representative, Mississippi House of Representatives

Edmund Buckner, Dean & Director of Land-Grant Programs, Alcorn State University

Whitney S. French, Director of Healthcare & Community Engagement, Teen Health Mississippi

Keandre Haywood, Financial Management Coordinator, Delta Regional Authority

Shelley Ritter, Executive Director, Delta Blues Museum

Tracey Rosebud, Mississippi State Representative, Mississippi House of Representatives

Alfonzo White, Director of Television Studio/Instructor, Mississippi Valley State University

Mary Williams, CEO, Urgent & Primary Care of Clarksdale

Additional information about DRA’s DLI Executive Academy is available at

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Delta Regional Authority graduates 2023 class from Leadership Development Program

By Jackson Advocate News Service
October 16, 2023