University of Kentucky College of Agriculture

Forum Speaker

Adren Wilson

Adren O. Wilson


Adren O. Wilson serves as the Executive Director for the Greater New Orleans New Leaders.  New Leaders is committed to ensuring high academic achievement for all children, especially students in poverty and students of color, by developing transformational school leaders and advancing the policies and practices that allow great leaders to succeed.

Before joining New Leaders, Adren served as the National Director of the Equity and Inclusion Campaign (E&I).  Before joining E&I, he served as Assistant Secretary with the Louisiana Department of Social Services from 2004 to 2008, appointed by Governor Blanco, and reappointed by Governor Jindal, and confirmed by the Louisiana Senate.  Before becoming a public servant, he served as the National Director of Youth and Student Leadership Development with Children’s Defense Fund (CDF) in Washington, D.C., and later in Louisiana.  In this capacity, he led youth leadership development programs such as Freedom Schools, the Student Leadership Network for Children (SLNC) and Advanced Service and Advocacy Workshops.  With Adren’s leadership, CDF has trained thousands of college students representing Harvard, Yale, Morehouse, Spelman and countless other institutions, at the former Alex Haley Farm in Clinton, TN.

Prior to joining CDF, Adren served in numerous capacities at Louisiana State University.  He served as Residence Life Coordinator, Admissions Officer, and University Advisor for a group of 4,500 students.  Through his work at LSU, he has received many honors.  In 1995, a leadership award, the “Adren Wilson Outstanding LSU Ambassador Award,” was established in his honor.  This award is given to a top LSU Ambassador each year.  In 1996, he was named “University Advisor of the Year” for his work with students. 

Additionally, Adren serves as the Chair of the Board of Directors for the Health Centers in Schools, and has served on the following Boards: Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Information Center of Louisiana, Inc, the Louisiana Partnership for Children and Families, the Baton Rouge Children’s Coalition, and the Baton Rouge League of Women Voters.  He is a former middle school history teacher at Park Forest Middle School in Baton Rouge, LA.