Mayor Laura White-Brown

The Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) has named Mayor Laura White-Brown to participate in the inaugural class of the Appalachian Leadership Institute.

As a Fellow, White-Brown will participate in the Appalachian Leadership Institute, an extensive nine-month program of skill-building seminars, best practice reviews, field visits, mentoring, and networking.

The curriculum will be anchored by six multi-day seminars around the region with the first sessions taking place in Morehead Oct. 21-24.

Subsequent training sessions will be held in Dalton, Georgia; Starkville, Mississippi; Beckley, West Virginia; Boone, North Carolina; Jamestown, New York, followed by a capstone graduation in Washington, DC in July 2020.

"Mayor White-Brown will represent Morehead and the Rowan County community with integrity and leadership. Being a part of this program will help our city and county network with states in this entire region. She will represent us well and I look forward to seeing the impact this has on our community as a whole,” said Judge-Executive Harry Clark.

As part of the Appalachian Leadership Institute, White-Brown will work directly with public policy, community development, education, investment, and other professionals who live and/or work in the region to:

• Design effective economic development project proposals

• Integrate community assets into long-lasting economic development strategies

• Identify resources available to spur economic development

• Locate and access investment capital from a variety of public and private sources

• Prepare competitive applications for public grant opportunities, and

• Use expanded leadership skills to create strong coalitions.

Upon completion of the program, White-Brown will automatically become part of the Appalachian Leadership Institute Network, a peer-to-peer working group committed to Appalachia's future.

“Our hope is that the Appalachian Leadership Institute will help develop leadership and problem solving, bring advancement, and grow greater prosperity in the Region,” said ARC Federal Co-Chairman Tim Thomas. “Leadership is the essential foundation on which all of our collective efforts to enhance Appalachia rest.”

White-Brown was selected via a competitive application process. ARC received 180 applications for the 2019-2020 Appalachian Leadership Institute class, resulting in an acceptance rate of 22 percent.

Applications for the 2020-21 class will open in March 2020. Information about the Appalachian Leadership Institute is available at

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