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Office of Administration announces graduation of ninth Missouri Leadership Academy Class, tenth milestone class to debut early next year

December 8, 2022

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Today, the Office of Administration announced the graduation of 31 state employees from the Missouri Leadership Academy – a program helping develop the next generation of state government leaders.

The graduates were chosen by senior leadership to participate in the cross-department leadership development program, which focuses on three core areas: leading themselves, leading others, and leading change within state government.

“The Missouri Leadership Academy features some of the best and brightest in state government, and we want to thank the graduates for their determination to grow as emerging leaders and improve public service across Missouri,” said Governor Mike Parson. “I often tell the state workforce it’s not about being the best. It’s about surrounding yourself with great talent, and the Missouri Leadership Academy continues to be a great program to highlight and develop our top talent. These leaders continue to elevate themselves with their motivation and a positive attitude as they work together in their professional development to move Missouri forward.”

“The Missouri Leadership Academy continues to provide opportunities for current and future leaders to further grow in their professional development, establish long-term relationships outside their department, and gain additional insight into Missouri state government,” said Commissioner Ken Zellers, Office of Administration. “I want to congratulate Class Nine graduates for the strides they’ve taken these past six months to become better leaders as they collaborated as a team to find new, innovative ways to make government better for the citizens and customers we serve.”

“As part of the Missouri Leadership Academy coordinators, we had the wonderful opportunity to join these team members on their journey for the past six months. The amount of growth we had the pleasure of witnessing first-hand in each of them, from our kickoff day on through graduation, is just tremendous,” said Aaron Dimmock, Deputy Director of Operational Excellence, Office of Administration. “We are incredibly excited to see what each of these team members accomplish for themselves and with their respective teams as they keep moving forward, continuing to put all they have learned into practice.”

The Fall 2022 Missouri Leadership Academy class presented new ideas which will further improve the lives of Missourians. The teams presented their capstone projects to Governor Parson, senior staff, cabinet and department leaders on December 6 & 7. The capstones included – “Enhancing Recruitment Efforts for Individuals with Disabilities,” “Learning How to Communicate with People Not Like You,” “Externships,” “24/7 Facility Staffing,” and “Leadership Learning Framework.”

The evening of December 7, Governor Parson hosted the Fall 2022 class for their graduation ceremony at the Capitol Rotunda.

The Missouri Leadership Academy is an innovative program, which pushes state team members to work together, develop new skills and become more efficient leaders. The idea of the program is that by developing leaders, Missouri state government will continue to improve and better serve its citizens.

Throughout the program, the recent graduates were able to meet with many state leaders, including statewide officeholders, members of the judiciary, cabinet leaders, and reporters covering state government. They also toured the Algoa Correctional Center, Missouri Supreme Court, and the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) from the Missouri Department of Public Safety. 

“I have been fortunate to have had a lot of quality leadership development in my career, but Missouri Leadership Academy was second to none. Skill sets from this program were developed that will not only positively impact our own careers, but all those around us as well,” said Robert “Bobby” Baugh, Youth Services Supervisor, Department of Social Services. “It was inspiring to be a part of an amazing cohort of skilled leaders from such diverse backgrounds and I’m proud to have been a part of it.”

“The Missouri Leadership Academy has been an amazing opportunity to get to meet other emerging leaders from across state government. The experience has allowed me to build impactful relationships with other like-minded individuals whom I may never have had the opportunity to meet otherwise,” said Katie Long, Public Health Program Manager, Department of Health and Senior Services. “I feel very honored to have been selected for such a meaningful leadership experience that has not only enhanced my leadership skills, but also given me tremendous confidence that I can take back with me and use in my current and future leadership roles. In forming the Missouri Leadership Academy, I believe that the state is taking the right steps to build emerging leaders that will enhance state government and, in turn, directly improve the lives of Missourians.”

To be considered for the program, department leaders from across the state must nominate their team members. Nominees then submit a resume and brief memorandum explaining why they are an ideal candidate for the program to a committee of cabinet leaders. The committee reviews the applications, and then makes final selections.

Since launching the program, the state has graduated over 200 emerging leaders and continues to have two classes each year, in the spring and fall. The tenth class of the Missouri Leadership Academy will debut early next year. To learn more about this program, please visit