The Presidential Leadership Scholars (PLS) program recently announced the 60 scholars in the sixth annual class.The Arkansas scholars include a Pine Bluff native.

PLS is a partnership among the presidential centers of George W. Bush, William J. Clinton, George H.W. Bush, and Lyndon B. Johnson, according to a press release from Clinton Foundation.

The Arkansas scholars include:

• Chris Jones, Ph.D — executive director of the Arkansas Regional Innovation Hub at Little Rock. Jones is son of the Rev. Leon Jones Sr. and Beverly Jones of Pine Bluff. In March 2018, Winrock International announced the appointment of Jones as executive director and lead maker of the Hub, a nonprofit organization for entrepreneurs.

• Gayatri Agnew — senior director of Walmart at Bentonville;

• Alison Williams — Chief of Staff of the Office of the Governor of Arkansas at Little Rock.

The program kicked off in Washington, D.C., Jan. 28.

“PLS serves as a catalyst for a diverse network of established leaders brought together to collaborate and make a difference in the world as they learn about leadership through the lens of the presidential experiences of George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush, and Lyndon B. Johnson,” according to the press release.

Scholars were selected based on their leadership growth potential and their personal leadership projects aimed at improving civic engagement or social good by addressing a problem or need in their community, according to the release.

For six months, scholars will travel to the participating presidential center to learn from former presidents, key former administration officials, business and civic leaders, and leading academics. They will study and put into practice varying approaches to leadership and exchange ideas to help strengthen their impact in their communities, according to the release.

“The latest class joins an active network of 298 scholars who are applying lessons learned through the program to make a difference in the U.S. and around the world. Examples of these scholar-led efforts include providing employment and mentorship to veterans, helping adjudicated youth to improve job skills and attain a positive self-image, empowering clinicians to speak with patients about safe storage of firearms, and deploying much needed resources in the wake of natural disasters,” according to the release.

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