Melissa Flournoy Named Director of RAND Gulf States Policy Institute

For Release

March 18, 2008

Founding president and CEO of the Louisiana Association of Nonprofit Organizations (LANO) Melissa Flournoy has agreed to become director of the RAND Gulf States Policy Institute, RAND Corporation President and CEO James Thomson announced today.

Flournoy, a former state legislator, has been leading LANO — a statewide network of more than 1,000 nonprofits, foundations, corporations and individuals — since its inception over ten years ago. She served in the Louisiana House of Representatives from 1992 to 1996.

“We believe that Melissa Flournoy's experience in the nonprofit sector and government will help the RAND Gulf States Policy Institute to continue to expand the contribution it's making to the Gulf States region in the years to come,” Thomson said.

Flournoy will assume leadership of the institute May 19 and will be based in the RAND Gulf States Policy Institute's New Orleans office. The institute also has an office in Jackson, Miss.

“I'm looking forward to continuing my service to the region through the RAND Gulf States Policy Institute,” Flournoy said. “The institute and its partner universities are focused on helping the Gulf States to rebuild stronger and better than ever.”

Flournoy has a bachelor's degree in history from Hollins University, a master's degree from the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University in New York City, and a Ph.D. in political science from Louisiana State University. She is a former chair of the National Council of Nonprofit Associations.

Flournoy will succeed George Penick, who has served since 2006 as the institute's first director. Penick is leaving to become of the head of school at St. Andrew's Episcopal School, a college preparatory school that has campuses in Jackson and Ridgeland, Miss.

The goal of the RAND Gulf States Policy Institute is to assist in long-term rebuilding and development efforts in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama by providing evidence-based policy guidance to speed regional recovery and growth.

The institute is a collaboration between RAND, including the Pardee RAND Graduate School, and seven universities in the Gulf States region: Jackson State University, Tulane University, Tuskegee University, University of New Orleans, University of South Alabama, University of Southern Mississippi, and Xavier University of Louisiana.

About the RAND Corporation

The RAND Corporation is a research organization that develops solutions to public policy challenges to help make communities throughout the world safer and more secure, healthier and more prosperous.