Having spent all of her life in Arkansas, raised in Blytheville and now living in Little Rock, Dr. Charisse Childers is always working to make a difference in the lives of others. Her experiences, knowledge, and unwavering enthusiasm are demonstrated in everything that she does. With 30 years of years of work and personal experience in business, education, law enforcement, non-profits and economic development, she has built friendships and has contacts in all parts of the state.
After graduating from Blytheville High School, Dr. Childers worked her way through college at Arkansas State University earning a Bachelor of Science degree in business in 1988. Realizing that she wanted to continue her education and that additional education and training would open up greater opportunities, she later earned master’s and specialist’s degrees from Arkansas State University. Then at the age of 42, she graduated from the University of Arkansas with a Doctorate of Philosophy in Public Policy.
Dr. Childers’ career began in secondary and post-secondary education – giving her an opportunity to work with students and demonstrate the importance of an education. In addition to serving on a national education board and being recognized for her exemplary work in post-secondary education, she has written and administered federal, state, and local grants and has been a federal grant reviewer for the U.S. Department of Education.
She served from 2006–2014 as the executive director of Accelerate Arkansas, an 80-member statewide group of business and education leaders dedicated to knowledge-based economic development in the state of Arkansas. She was appointed director of the Arkansas Department of Career Education in January 2015. She will continue working with leaders around the state on education and economic development policy and career and educational services that prepare our youth and adults for jobs while meeting the needs of our businesses in Arkansas.
Recently, Dr. Childers was recognized by the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation as one of 40 non-profit leaders in the state and is featured in the publications that celebrate the 40th Anniversary of the Foundation and The Year of the Nonprofit Leader. The Foundation honors those whose accomplishments and strong leadership exemplify the legacy of Governor Rockefeller and who are contributing to moving the needle in Arkansas.
Dr. Childers served on the Arkansas State Police Commission for seven years and currently is the vice-chairman of the Arkansas State Police Foundation. She has been a finalist and received two nominations as non-profit executive of the year by Arkansas Business. She is currently vice president of the Arkansas State Alumni Association, a member of the EAST® (Environment and Spatial Technology) Initiative Advisory Council, the Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce and the Little Rock Regional Chamber of Commerce.