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11/7/2017 - Clarksdale, Miss.

Leaders from across eight states to participate in program

Director of System Analysis, Research, & Enrollment Management Eric Atchison was one of eight Mississippians selected recently to participate in the Delta Regional Authority's (DRA) Delta Leadership Institute (DLI), along with representatives from seven other states. Selected by Governor Phil Bryant and DRA leadership, the Mississippi fellows represent a diverse cohort of community leaders.

"I am honored and excited to have the opportunity to learn and grow with energetic and innovative peers across our region," said Atchison. "I look forward to working with colleagues with an array of expertise to identify and overcome the challenges in our state and region."

Designed to encourage regional collaboration, the program will consist of six sessions across the region and visits to each of the eight states in the Delta Regional Authority footprint. These states include Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri and Tennessee.

The fellows will engage in policy and program development, advocacy training, case-study discussion, and on-the-ground field experiences aligned with DRA's priorities for the region. These priorities include transportation and infrastructure, workforce training and education, entrepreneurship and disaster resilience for small businesses and communities, public health, policy and governance, and culture and tourism.

Since 2005, DLI has worked to strengthen the knowledge and skills of community leaders across the Delta broadening their understanding of regional issues and building a corps of alumni that have a regional and national perspective. Upon graduation, the 51 new members will have 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 Delta communities.

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The Delta Regional Authority and the Delta Leadership Institute
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 investment 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. DLI is a program of the Delta Regional Authority in partnership with three institutions of higher education from the DRA's states. Please visit www.dra.gov to learn more.

About Mississippi Public Universities
The Mississippi Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning governs the public universities in Mississippi, including Alcorn State University; Delta State University; Jackson State University; Mississippi State University including the Mississippi State University Division of Agriculture, Forestry and Veterinary Medicine; Mississippi University for Women; Mississippi Valley State University; the University of Mississippi including the University of Mississippi Medical Center; and the University of Southern Mississippi.

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