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About Us

Skinner Leadership Institute provides networking, bridge-building, and leadership development opportunities among Congressional leaders, business executives, nonprofit organizations, college students, faith leaders, young professionals, and urban youth. Our vision is to produce high performing morally and professionally excellent, civic-minded executive leaders. We coach, train and equip leaders in our nation, leaders in the faith community, and leaders among youth, who are committed to the empowerment of the economically underserved and to uniting all segments of our nation.


Skinner Leadership Institute also regularly brings together veteran and next-generation leaders to build mutual cooperation and understanding about issues valued by each generation. Diversity and inclusion seminars for the 21st-century workforce have also been facilitated through Skinner Leadership to foster relationships among national and local leaders around common issues impacting their communities.

Dr. Barbara Williams-Skinner

CEO, Co-founder

Dr. Barbara Williams-Skinner, CEO and co-founder of Skinner Leadership Institute and Co-Convener of the National African American Clergy Network, is a trusted advisor, public policy strategist, faith, and community leader, author, lecturer, educator, executive coach, mentor, and bridge-builder. 


She has made an indelible imprint in American public policy, government, diversity, and community relations.  She and her late husband, Tom Skinner, founded the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Prayer Breakfast that annually attracts over 3000 leaders across the nation, many of them unchurched.  


Widely known as a committed prayer warrior, Dr. Williams-Skinner regularly prays for and with Congressional leaders and sends daily scripture to many of them.  She serves as co-convener of the National African American Clergy Network of denomination and independent church leaders representing 15 million members. The Network regularly convenes public policy information sharing calls on issues such as voting rights, criminal justice reform, and the census. For the 2020 election, the Clergy Network partnered with Sojourners, a Christian Social Justice and Media organizations in nine-state Turnout Sunday, Lawyers & Collars voter participation campaign to help ensure safe, free, and fair elections. 


Dr. Williams-Skinner is co-founder of the Masters Series for Distinguished Leaders, committed to producing high character and morally excellent millennial leaders on Capitol Hill and other places of power.  The program is now in its 12th year and has graduated over 170 young leaders.


Five years ago, she began the Masters Series for Distinguished Clergy that equips pastors with advocacy and media training, teaching them how to voice their values in the public arena.  Over 100 pastors have graduated from this unique program.  Dr. Williams-Skinner has authored a book on building personal spiritual power, called: “I Prayed, Now What?” and a companion Discussion Guide that is popular among those seeking personal spiritual growth and group Bible studies.


Dr. Williams-Skinner holds a B.A. Degree from San Francisco State University, a Master of Social Work Degree, and a Law Degree from UCLA, as well as a Master of Divinity and a Doctorate of Ministry from Howard University School of Divinity.

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Our Faculty

Dr. Therman Evans

Dr. Evans serves as a SLI Faculty Member for both the MSDL and MSDC programs. He is a physician and the founder and CEO of Whole Life Associates. He has served as the Vice President and Corporate Medical Director of Cigna Insurance and Healthcare Corporation; as well as the National Health Director and Washington Bureau Chief for Rev. Jesse Jackson’s Operation Push. He is also the author of, From Purpose to Promise Driven Life, the foundational teaching of the Skinner Leadership Institute Masters Series for Distinguished Leaders (MSDL) and the Masters Series for Distinguished Clergy (MSDC). Dr. Evans currently serves as Pastor of Morning Star Community Christian Center, a multicultural, interdenominational, Christian based church located in Linden, NJ. He is a graduate of Howard University’s undergraduate (BS) and medical school (M.D.); additionally, he holds B.A., M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in theology from the United Christian College of New York.  

Hon. Constance Berry Newman

Ms. Newman serves as a SLI Faculty Member for both the MSDL and MSDC programs. She currently serves as special counsel for African affairs at the Carmen Group and is an adviser on Somalia to the US African Development Foundation. She has served the U.S. as assistant secretary of State for African Affairs and as the assistant administrator for Africa at the US Agency for International Development, where she oversaw the US government's economic development in Africa and was a key participant in the launching of the African Education Initiative to expand children's access to basic education and increase the number of teachers across the continent. From 2002 to 2005, she acted as President Bush's G8 personal representative on Africa. She has held seven presidential appointments, five confirmed by the Senate, in both Republican and Democratic administrations. Ms. Newman holds an undergraduate degree in political science from Bates College and a law degree from the University of Minnesota Law School.

Ms. Adrianne Todman

Ms. Todman serves as a SLI Faculty member for the MSDL program. She is the Chief Executive Officer of the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials (NAHRO). From 2009-2017, she served as the Executive Director at the District of Columbia Housing Authority (DCHA), where she created a national award-winning model to house homeless veterans, opened the first public housing assisted living facility, increased homeownership opportunities by 50 percent, increased the number of affordable units available for low-income families, and managed 12 concurrent redevelopment efforts. She also strengthened, and prioritized, workforce development and youth programming. Ms. Todman co-founded the Women in Housing Leadership Initiative, and also served on the Smith College President Council. She is a graduate of Smith College.

Our Staff

Ms. Barbarella A. Brown
Mrs. Walida T. Smith

Director of Marketing and Publications

Ms. Bronze Adams

Staff Assistant and Events Coordinator

Our Board

Pastor John K. Jenkins, Sr.

Senior Pastor,

First Baptist Church of Glenarden

Chair of the Board

Mr. Robert Brown

CEO and Founder,

B&C International

Mrs. Lori George Billingsley

Coca-Cola North America

Mr. Mark Christensen

Senior Partner,

Christensen Ehret

Vice Chair of the Board and Interim Treasurer

Rev. H. Beecher Hicks, Jr. 

Senior Pastor,

Metropolitan  Baptist Church

Mrs. Rosemary Trible

Founder and President,

Fear 2 Freedom


Bishop Donald Hilliard, Jr.

Senior Pastor,

The Cathedral International Church

Mr. Joshua DuBois


Values Partnership

Rev. Jim Wallis

President and Founder


Founding Board Members - In Memoriam: Dr. Dorothy I. Height and Dr. Maya Angelou

Skinner Leadership Institute


P.O. Box 31309

Washington, DC 20030

©2018 by Skinner Leadership Institute. 

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