New Utah Rural Leadership Academy to Mentor State's County Leaders

Published: June 22, 2021 | Author: Melynda Thorpe | Read Time: 2 minutes

Gov. Spencer J. Cox speaks to the media at the 2020 Utah Rural Summit.Cedar City, UT – The new Utah Rural Leadership Academy is now accepting applications for its inaugural cohort set to kick off in October at the One Utah Summit in Cedar City. Open to the state’s rural county leaders, the Academy is uniquely designed to assist emerging and established leaders in Utah’s rural county communities and to equip participants with relevant administration and management skills in multiple learning settings.

“We are honored to offer this program through SUU and appreciate so many leadership stakeholders who are taking the time to help in teaching and mentoring our first cohort of rural county leaders,” said Stephen Lisonbee, Governor’s senior advisor to rural affairs and assistant vice president for the SUU Office of Regional Services.

The year-long cohort combines in-person and online learning opportunities culminating with a Rural Governance Incubator experience for workshopping rural issues. Among the lineup of learning facilitators is Gov. Spencer J. Cox, Lt. Gov. Deidre Henderson and Brandy Grace, Utah Association of Counties CEO. Instrumental in designing the experience is a team of rural county staff and leadership representatives and SUU Master of Public Administration faculty. Guest presenters for the academy will include a wide range of individuals in leadership positions throughout federal, state, municipal and industry settings.

Managing partners include Southern Utah University, Office of the Governor and Utah Association of Counties. Key relationship building is combined with growth and development opportunities for assisting counties in operating vibrantly, responding to demands and preparing for Utah’s future. To be considered for participation in the 2021-2022 cohort, applications must be submitted no later than Aug. 5.

The Academy’s incubator experience will be key to workshopping county issues and building solutions for addressing current and relevant opportunities and challenges facing Utah's rural communities.

“We become better leaders when we embrace opportunities and continue to learn together,” said Brandy Grace, Utah Association of Counties CEO. For more information about leadership and other professional development opportunities offered through SUU Community and Professional Development, visit or call (435) 865-8259.

SUU Community & Professional Development:

SUU’s Community and Professional Development department offers opportunities for adults to elevate their careers, stay competitive in the workforce and develop as leaders. Located in the world’s best backyard, Southern Utah University is known as University of the Parks thanks to its close proximity to several national monuments, outdoor recreational areas and educational partnerships with the National Park Service. Reach your next career peak with SUU by visiting

Tags: One Utah Summit Community and Professional Development URLA Utah Rural Summit

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