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Tray Hairston Selected as Fellow for Delta Leadership Program

Butler Snow is pleased to announce that Tray Hairston has been selected to represent Mississippi as a fellow in the Delta Regional Authority’s (DRA) Delta Leadership Institute (DLI). Hairston is one of eight fellows from Mississippi selected by Gov. Phil Bryant and the DRA leadership to participate in this program.

These leaders will join fellows from seven other states and participate in a 10-month DLI Executive Academy program to further their skills in community leadership and policy development to promote regional collaboration and local economic growth across DRA’s eight-state region.

Mississippi’s DLI fellows will participate in six sessions across the region, visiting each of the eight states in the DRA footprint. They will engage in policy and program development, advocacy training, case-study discussions, and in the field experiences aligned with DRA’s priorities for the region. Those 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.

The class includes seven members from Alabama; eight from Arkansas; five from Illinois; five from Kentucky; seven from Louisiana; eight from Mississippi; four from Missouri and seven from Tennessee.

“It is an honor to be a part of DLI, which is one of the premiere leadership programs in the country,” said Hairston.  “I am excited about the opportunity to learn from governors’ office staffers, congressional staffers, mayors, supervisors, councilmen, aldermen, economic development professionals, leaders in the private sector and community leaders from the 8 states that comprise of the Delta region. I look forward to learning ideas and strategies that I can bring back to Mississippi to improve our community.”

Since 2005, DLI has worked to strengthen the knowledge and skills of community leaders across the delta by 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.

The DRA is a federal-state partnership created by Congress in 2000 to help create jobs, build communities, and improve lives through strategic investments 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 twelve 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: the University of Alabama, Arkansas State University-Jonesboro and the University of Louisiana Monroe.

Hairston focuses his practice on public finance, economic development, and government relations. Before joining the firm, he served as counsel and economic development advisor to Gov. Phil Bryant. He has served as bond counsel for various cities and counties throughout Mississippi, and is also an adjunct law professor at Mississippi College School of Law. Hairston regularly publishes scholarly legal articles. He is a member of the National Association of Bond Lawyers, Mississippi Bar Association, and is the co-chair of the American Bar Association’s ‘Forum on Affordable Housing and Community Development’ winter boot camp conference in Phoenix Feb. 1-2.

Hairston was named to the inaugural class of the Tougaloo College Top Forty Under Forty in 2016, the Young Lawyer of the Year by Mississippi College School of Law in 2013, and the Top 40 Under 40 by the Mississippi Business Journal in 2013. He was also listed as a Mid-South Super Lawyer in 2016 and 2017. He is a member of the Board of Directors of Mississippi Today, a nonpartisan, nonprofit digital news and information company. Hairston received his undergraduate degree from Tougaloo College, his MBA from Belhaven College and his Juris Doctor from Mississippi College School of Law.