Akbari Picked to Attend for ‘Emerging Leaders Program’

Press release from the Democratic Caucus of the Tennessee House of Representatives, May 28, 2015:

State Representative Raumesh Akbari (D-Memphis) was selected to participate in the 2015 Emerging Leaders Program, sponsored by the State Legislative Leaders Foundation and the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia.

This prestigious program is held every year on the campus of the University of Virginia for a select group of state legislators who have been nominated by the Speaker of the House, President of the Senate or Minority Leader from their state. Leaders are asked to nominate one or more members who by their actions have demonstrated those qualities we associate with leadership—integrity, compassion, intelligence, vision, and common sense.

“I am humbled to have been selected for this program which my predecessor, the late Lois DeBerry, helped found so many years ago. It is a true honor and I want to especially thank Speaker Beth Harwell and Minority Leader Craig Fitzhugh for nominating me,” said Representative Akbari.

The goal of this program is to inspire these men and women to continued careers in public service. Class discussions will examine qualities and characteristics of leadership including: ethical leadership, the art of compromise and coalition building, and the philosophical underpinnings of representative democracy.

The discussions will be lead by Professor Ed Freeman, the Elis and Signe Olsson Professor of Business Administration at the Darden School and co-director of the Olsson Center for Applied Ethics. A distinguished UVA faculty along with Dr. Thomas Little, Curriculum Director of the State Legislative Leaders Foundation, will join Dr. Freeman.

“Representative Akbari is the kind of legislator who gives me great hope for the future of Tennessee,” said House Minority Leader Craig Fitzhugh (D-Ripley). “She is well-informed and well-respected by members of both parties. Most importantly, she gets things done for Memphis. She is the future of leadership in the Tennessee General Assembly.”

Representative Akbari, the youngest member of the Tennessee General Assembly, is one of only fifty state legislators chosen from a nationwide pool of over 200 outstanding nominees.

As Stephen G. Lakis, President of the State Legislative Leaders Foundation, has noted “These legislators represent the best in our legislative institutions, and are destined for future leadership roles in their state. Spending time with these up and coming leaders renews my confidence in our country’s great democratic experiment.”