Delta Leadership Institute Opens Application Cycle for 2017-2018 Executive Academy

May 18, 2017

CLARKSDALE, Miss. — The Delta Regional Authority (DRA) today opened its application cycle for the 2017-2018 Delta Leadership Institute Executive Academy. Since 2005, the Delta Leadership Institute (DLI) has selected a diverse group of community leaders across the Delta who are dedicated to improving their communities.

The application for the 2017-2018 Executive Academy is available now online and will be accepted until July 14, 2017. Interested applicants can learn more about the program and begin the application at

“The Executive Academy is one of DRA’s strongest programs to help communities advance economically and address some of the toughest structural challenges we see in the Delta,” DRA Chairman Chris Masingill said. “This program trains community leaders to identify regional solutions through collaborative partnerships with colleagues across the Delta region so that our local communities can compete nationally and globally.”

DRA developed the Institute in 2005 to continually develop Delta leaders committed to helping create jobs, build their local communities and improve the lives of residents. DLI provides professional leadership and policy training on issues that advance the growth and development of Delta communities. Participants explore strategies that help communities and economies grow, and are exposed to a network with opportunities to share best practices, collaborate and exchange information with each other.

DLI fellows attend six sessions over nine months in each of DRA’s eight states. Fellows will learn from existing programs and community models, case study discussions, and grassroots organizing and community engagement techniques.  Field experiences focus on priority issues for enhancing the region, including infrastructure development, workforce training and education, entrepreneurship, disaster resilience for small businesses, and creative placemaking.

Upon graduation, DLI fellows become members of the Delta Leadership Network (DLN), which gives them opportunities to engage in continued learning, information sharing, and collaboration at regional levels within their state and across the Delta region.

2017-2018 Schedule

Orientation: October 23-27 | Potosi, MO

Session II: December 4-8 | Memphis, TN/Clarksdale, MS

Session III: February 26-March 2 | New Orleans, LA

Session IV: April 23-27 | Selma, AL

Session V: June 4-8 | Jonesboro, AR

Graduation: July 23-27 | Paducah, KY/Carbondale, IL

*All dates represent the week the session will be held, but the class will only meet for 3-4 days during that week.

About the Delta Leadership Institute
The Delta Leadership Institute is a program of the Delta Regional Authority in partnership with the University of Alabama, Arkansas State University, and the University of Louisiana at Monroe. Through its Executive Academy, DLI has provided leadership development to 500 community leaders over twelve years and strengthened skills development, information sharing, and regional collaboration. DLI maintains an environment for continued education and engagement for its alumni through the Delta Leadership Network. Learn more at

About DRA
The Delta Regional Authority 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 in 252 counties and parishes across eight states. To date, the DRA’s SEDAP investments, together with its state and local partners, have leveraged federal resources into nearly $3.5 billion in public and private investment into local small business owners, entrepreneurs, workforce improvement, and infrastructure development projects. DRA investments have helped to create and retain more than 37,000 jobs, train more than 7,300 workers for 21st Century jobs, and deliver water and sewer improvements to more than 66,000 residents. Learn more at


Media Contact: Andrew Moreau

Program Contact: Spencer Lucker