Heartland Forward adds chief program officer, new programming investments

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 578 views 

Bentonville think-and-do tank Heartland Forward on Thursday (June 18) named Angie Cooper chief program officer. The organization earlier this year named Cooper the executive director of its annual event, the Heartland Summit. She will continue in that role.

“The mission to help strengthen the heart of America is more important now than ever before,” Cooper said in a statement. “I am excited to build on the important work of Heartland Summit by helping lead Heartland Forward’s efforts to drive positive policy solutions, spark frank conversations about the challenges the region is facing, and form networks to sustain economic growth across the region . . . a region I call home.”

The creation of a chief program officer is part of additional investments in Heartland Forward’s programming efforts, according to a news release. It’s meant to underscore the “do” aspect of the think-and-do tank.

“While analytical research is a cornerstone of our work at Heartland Forward, we can’t let our impact stop there,” CEO and President Ross DeVol said. “Taking our research a step further and converting it into actionable policies will foster growth in a real way for the region.”

Heartland Forward is the first U.S. think tank focused exclusively on the economic situation of the Heartland region. It is spearheaded by members of the Walton family and led by Devol, a former Walton Fellow and Milken Institute Chief Research Officer.

Heartland Forward said it will begin implementing its new programming efforts in the coming months.

The goal of the Heartland Summit is to promote action by convening people who are playing a role in the success stories of thriving areas of America’s heartland.

The invitation-only summit, scheduled April 22-23 this year in Bentonville, was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. No makeup date has been announced.

About 350 people attended the first summit in the fall of 2018.