University of Central Arkansas President Houston Davis has promoted Amy Whitehead to chief of staff, effective Aug. 12.
Whitehead is currently assistant vice president for Community and Workforce Development in UCA’s Division of Outreach and Community Engagement. She oversees the Center for Community and Economic Development, Community Development Institute, Arkansas Coding Academy and online workforce initiatives.
She is a graduate of UCA’s Community Development Institute and Master of Science in Community and Economic Development. She is also a certified Professional Community and Economic Developer, designated by the national Community Development Council.
Whitehead replaces Kelley Erstine, who has served as chief of staff since 2014. On August 15, he will join the Independent Insurance Agents of Arkansas as CEO.
As chief of staff, Whitehead will be responsible for the management of the Office of the President and provide support to the president to carry out the mission of the university. She will interact closely with many on-campus and off-campus constituencies, including the board of trustees, students, faculty, staff, alumni, elected officials and industry leaders.
Whitehead will provide direct supervision to the areas of campus police, media relations and special events.
“I am honored to support President Davis and the university by serving as chief of staff,” Whitehead said in a statement. “UCA has been an important part of my life for 17 years, and I will work hard every day to represent the university to the best of my abilities.”
In addition to her career experience, Whitehead holds several statewide leadership roles. She is a board member of the Arkansas Community Development Society, as well as the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension’s Breakthrough Solutions Advisory Council and CREATE Bridges initiative. She has received two gubernatorial appointments to the Arkansas Geographic Information Systems Board and is a regular contributor to the Arkansas Municipal League’s City & Town magazine.
On the national level, Amy serves as vice chair of the Community Development Council, and in 2016 she was appointed to a three-year term on the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis Community Development Advisory Council.
“I am excited to have Amy join our executive team as chief of staff. With two degrees from UCA and more than a decade working at the university, she brings tremendous experience within our campus and with our many external constituencies,” said UCA President Houston Davis. “I am certain she will do an exceptional job helping to advance and support the mission of the university.”
Whitehead holds both bachelor’s and master’s degrees from UCA and has resided in Conway for 17 years. She is married to Derek Whitehead and has two sons, Luke and Jack.