The Executive Academy meets six times throughout the course of the year. The dates below represent the week the session will be held, but the class will only meet 3-4 days during that week, with exact dates to be confirmed upon acceptance into program.

  • Session I: Orientation
    October 23-27, 2017 | Potosi, MO
    (attendence mandatory)
  • Session II
    ​December 4-8, 2017 | Memphis, TN/Clarksdale, MS
  • Delta Leadership Network Conference
    February 5-9, 2018 | Memphis, TN

  • Session III
    February 26-March 2, 2018 | New Orleans, LA

  • Session IV
    April 23-27, 2018 | Selma, AL

  • Session V
    June 4-8, 2018 | Jonesboro, AR

  • Session VI: Graduation
    July 23-27, 2018 | Paducah, KY/Carbondale, IL

  •  Participants attend six sessions across the Delta region to engage in advocacy training, case study discussion, and on-the-ground field experiences that highlight strategies for improving priority issue areas for the region, including Workforce Training and Education, Small Business and Entrepreneurship, Public Health, Transportation, Infrastructure, and Creative Placemaking.
  • The Orientation and Graduation sessions will begin at 2:00pm on the first day and adjourn at 12:00pm on the fourth day. This allows for travel to the session location the morning of the first day and travel home the afternoon of the fourth day.
    The other sessions will begin at 8:00am on the first day and adjourn at 12:00pm on the third day, allowing for travel to the session location anytime the day before the session begins and travel home the afternoon of the third day.
  • Since 2005, the DRA’s Delta Leadership Institute (DLI) has worked to improve the decisions made by community leaders across the Delta by broadening their understanding of regional issues, building a corps of alumni that have a regional and national perspective, developing a toolkit of resources for addressing issues facing their local communities, and providing the training and professional development needed to extend the pipeline of skilled local leadership within our Delta communities.
  • The Executive Academy program is free to leadership fellows selected to participate. DLI covers the cost of travel, lodging, program materials, and breakfast and lunch during the session dates. Most dinners will be on your own and at the participant's expense, unless there is a special reception or event scheduled. Air travel will be coordinated with DLI staff and those driving will be reimbursed for mileage to the session location.
  • Orientation will be held at the YMCA Trout Lodge in Mark Twain National Forest outside Potosi, Missouri. Potosi is approximately 90 miles south west of St. Louis. Attending the Orientation is mandatory for participation in the Executive Academy. If you cannot attend the Orientation session, you should wait to apply another year.
  • The class will stay in Paducah, Kentucky, for graduation. The session will include field experiences and graduation programming in western Kentucky as well as southern Illinois.
  • While there is no consistent required "homework" to be completed between each session, all fellows are expected to complete the session feedback survey within a week of the most recent session. There are also volunteer opportunities in accordance with consultancy protocols that allow fellows to compile a profile of a challenge facing their community and take feedback and ideas from their classmates; these require some preparation before the upcoming session. We also encourage, but do not require, the leadership fellows to review presentations, notes, and follow-up with past session speakers and new members of their professional network in between sessions..
  • Attendance for all sessions is mandatory, but we understand that participants of our institute face many demands. Participants may miss up to 20 hours or one entire session (with only one case study missed). Attendance is tracked by the hour and any absense must be excused and approved by the Director in advance by email.
  • Please Note: The entire orientation session is mandatory and no portion of this session may be missed. If the applicant has a conflict with the orientation dates, we ask that you wait until a future year to apply.
  • Participants each year are selected by the applicants' state Governor or the DRA Federal Co-Chairman. They will evaluate applications and make selections based on the completed applications submitted by the application deadline.
  • Once applicants have created a profile online at leadership.dra.gov/delta-leadership-application-form/, there is an application form with biographical and contact information, short answer questions and a tool where each applicant must upload letters of recommendation, a bio/resume, and photo.
  • Applicants must live or work in one of the 252 counties and parishes of the Mississippi River Delta and Alabama Black Belt region, as designated by Congress. You can view a map and list of these counties here.
  • Friday, July 14, 2017 at 11:59pm Central Time.
  • We expect to notify all applicants whether they are selected for the 2017-18 Executive Academy by the first week of September. If this should change, you will receive an email from DRA updating you on a new timeline.

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