Summer school wasn’t part of Anil Chadha’s original plan for June. That changed, in a surprisingly good way, when he was selected to join nine other professionals from Birmingham, Alabama to take part in a national leadership program sponsored by Harvard Business School.
The Young American Leaders Program is part of Harvard Business School’s U.S. Competitiveness Project, which is a research-led effort to understand and improve the ability of firms operating in the U.S. to compete successfully in the global economy while supporting high and rising living standards for Americans.
The program, which includes 130 total participants in 13 cities across the country, helps to identify practical steps that business leaders can take to strengthen the national economy.
Jan Rivkin, Harvard Business School professor and co-chair of the U.S. Competitiveness Project further explains the mission of the program, saying, “We’ve found that the most promising innovations for competitiveness are local, they span sectors, and they require long-term commitment.”
Chadha joined leaders from Alabama Power Company, Altec Inc., the University of Alabama at Birmingham and other Birmingham-area companies and nonprofit organizations for a four-day series of workshops and classes with professors from Harvard Business School. Their focus was public-private collaboration to improve workforce and economic development and quality of life in Birmingham and other cities across the United States. This is the third year Regions has participated in this program.
According to Chadha, Regions’ head of Shared Risk Services and Analytics, the sessions involved theoretical concepts that were evaluated in practical settings.
St. Paul, Minnesota, Mayor Melvin Carter explained how he built a cross-sector team to collaborate on ways to advance public safety. Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms also spoke to the group about how she has developed partnerships within her city.
One of the biggest highlights for Chadha was working with and getting to know his fellow participants.
“I was amazed at the talent that was assembled in the program both from Birmingham and from the other cities,” he said.
Besides the personal and professional networking and collaboration, Chadha also credits the program with enhancing his commitment to community involvement.
“I came away from the experience energized and optimistic about how effective public/private partnerships can help create opportunities for equitable growth in Birmingham,” he said.
Chief Risk Officer Matt Lusco praised Chadha and his participation in the program. “I’m pleased that Anil was able to represent Regions and Birmingham in this prestigious national program,” he said. “Coming out of the pandemic, it’s more important than ever for leaders to work together to create opportunities for economic growth throughout our communities.”