39 Fellows Graduate from the Appalachian Regional Commission’s Appalachian Leadership Institute 

Graduates will now join the growing Appalachian Leadership Institute Alumni Network, continuing their regional connection and collaboration.  

WASHINGTON, D.C., July 26, 2023—The Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) is proud to announce that 39 fellows from Appalachia’s 13 states graduated from the Appalachian Leadership Institute, a leadership and economic development program sponsored by the Appalachian Regional Commission. Members of the Class of 2023, along with their friends and family, attended the ceremony in Washington, D.C.  

“My enthusiastic congratulations to the 2023 class of Appalachian Leadership Institute Fellows! I’m proud of the work this industrious group of changemakers has accomplished over the last nine months as they dedicated themselves to sharing and building the knowledge needed to create long-lasting impacts on the region,” said ARC Federal Co-Chair Gayle Manchin. “The partnerships they built during their time at the Appalachian Leadership Institute will help bolster the strength and vitality of the region long after graduation, and I can’t wait to see the further impacts they will have as they continue their leadership roles across our 13 states.” 

In the nine months leading up to graduation, fellows participated in six in-person sessions, all of which included skill-building seminars with regional experts, peer-to-peer learning, and case study analysis. All aspects of the curriculum were designed to equip fellows with the knowledge and network needed to create positive change in their communities.  

“This program shows what the ARC does best, which is investing in our people,” said ARC 2023 States’ Co-Chair, Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear. “We know there is so much talent and potential in the people of Eastern Kentucky and all of Appalachia. Through this investment we are building a brighter future for these fellows, their families, and the entire region.”

These Appalachian leaders will continue serving their communities through civil service, finance, healthcare, recovery, tourism, and a variety of other public and private sectors. Additionally, as graduates of the Appalachian Leadership Institute, they are now part of the Appalachian Leadership Institute Alumni Network. This program will allow them to continue connecting with, and learning from, other leaders across Appalachia. With each graduating class, the network will continue to grow, connect leaders, and facilitate learning and idea exchange across the 13 Appalachian states.  

About the Appalachian Leadership Institute    
The Appalachian Leadership Institute is a comprehensive regional leadership training program developed by the Appalachian Regional Commission in partnership with the University of Tennessee, Knoxville; The Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy; Tuskegee University; and Collective Impact. The current class of the Appalachian Leadership Institute includes representatives from a variety of sectors and industries such as education, health care, economic development, public service, and other professions.

About the Appalachian Regional Commission
The Appalachian Regional Commission is an economic development entity of the federal government and 13 state governments focusing on 423 counties across the Appalachian Region. ARC’s mission is to innovate, partner, and invest to build community capacity and strengthen economic growth in Appalachia to help the region achieve socioeconomic parity with the nation.