Who We Are

Many of the 252 counties and parishes that make up the Delta region are characterized by high poverty, high unemployment levels, low educational attainment, and a loss of skilled labor. A corps of innovative leaders is needed to turn the tide in the Delta region and help it to compete in the global economy. The Delta Leadership Institute is designed to improve the decisions made by leaders across the region by strengthening leadership capacity and mutual understanding of regional, state, and local cultures and issues.

The Delta Leadership Institute organizes the Delta Leadership Institute Executive Academy, a year-long leadership development program for regional leaders that prepares them to collaborate and address the most-pressing issues of the Delta region. Each of the eight governors and the federal co-chairman nominate community leaders for the program, resulting in an annual class of 50 Delta leaders.

The Executive Academy meets six times over the year to discuss issues facing the region including public health, education, transportation, small business and entrepreneurship, workforce training, and economic development. As members of the Executive Academy delve into a wide range of policy issues, they explore the Delta region in cities from Louisiana to Kentucky, Arkansas to Alabama, and look at the big picture during a trip to Washington, DC for lessons in policy development and advocacy. 

The Delta Leadership Institute relies on administrative, programming, and curricular support from a consortium of three university partners: Arkansas State University, the University of Louisiana at Monroe, and the University of Alabama.