Dr. Robert Blaine is the senior executive and director for the National League of Cities’ Leadership, Education, Advancement, and Development (LEAD) Center.  LEAD consists of the Institute for Youth, Education and Families (YEF Institute); the Local Infrastructure Hub; and the National League of Cities University.  LEAD is dedicated to building opportunities in communities through technical assistance, leadership development, and engagement.

Most recently, Dr. Blaine served as the City of Jackson’s Chief Administrative Officer under Mayor Chokwe Lumumba. In that role, he oversaw the City’s 2,200 employees and managed an annual budget of more than $500 million. Dr. Blaine also led the development and efficient implementation of the City of Jackson’s Strategic Plan which promotes a “dignity economy” – an economic model in which municipal investments were made towards the inherit dignity of every citizen in Jackson through early childhood success, financial empowerment and equitable workforce development. 

A nationally-recognized thought leader in the areas of public service, education and music, Dr. Blaine has presented on the TEDx stage on the topics of New Environments for New Brains and The Dignity Economy and was recognized as an Apple Distinguished Educator in 2013. He previously served as the Associate Provost at Tougaloo College and as Dean of Undergraduate Studies and CyberLearning, Director of Orchestral Studies, and Professor of Music at Jackson State University.

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