James L. "Skip" Rutherford, the dean of the Clinton School of Public Service at the University of Arkansas, will be the 2015 Easter semester Graham Executive in Residence, co-sponsored by the Office of Community Engagement, Omicron Delta Kappa Leadership Honor Society, and the Babson Center for Global Commerce.
Rutherford will deliver a public lecture on how nonprofit organizations can drive economic growth within communities Monday, March 30, at 4:30 p.m. The speech will be in Gailor Auditorium and is free and open to the public. In addition to teaching classes and meeting with Sewanee students while on campus, he will also take time to consult with community leaders and AmeriCorps VISTAs currently serving on the South Cumberland Plateau.
Rutherford, a veteran of Arkansas political life, supervised the planning and construction of Bill Clinton's Presidential Library and Park, and he was the first president of the William J. Clinton Foundation. Rutherford is widely credited for a leading role in revitalizing downtown Little Rock, using the Presidential Library development to reclaim a blighted area of the city center and turning the city into an international travel destination. His work on the creation of the Clinton Library won him numerous awards, including "Arkansan of the Year" in 2005.
As dean of the Clinton School of Public Service, Rutherford has overseen the expansion of the first master's degree in public service at at U.S. university.
Rutherford studied journalism and has had a successful career in public relations. He has not shied away from difficult tasks, including serving as the president of the Little Rock School Board, where he was a leader in efforts to counteract the lingering effects of segregation in local schools. He served as administrative assistant to United States Senator David Pryor of Arkansas and worked on Bill Clinton's successful 1992 Presidential campaign staff.
Rutherford's lecture will be followed by a reception. The Graham Executive in Residence Series is made possible by a generous grant from Diane and the late Henry H. Graham, Jr. of Jacksonville, Fla. For more details, contact the Babson Center for Global Commerce.