Top 100 Women of Impact: Janet Harris

Janet Harris

Executive Director & CEO, Winthrop Rockefeller Institute

About me: I am a curious, determined leader with a passion for facilitating thoughtful conversations and collaborative action. With a work ethic honed on a hog farm, leadership born on a basketball court and a passion for service developed under the dome of the Arkansas State Capitol, I now find myself atop Petit Jean Mountain, where I am privileged to lead the Winthrop Rockefeller Institute.

I studied public administration at the University of Central Arkansas and UA Little Rock, where I earned a master’s degree. I am a trained facilitator, experienced leader, public speaker and connector. 

I am currently pursuing an executive certificate in nonprofit leadership from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. I live in Conway with my husband, daughter and three dogs.

Lives in: Conway • Works in: Morrilton

Best Career Advice: Success is about relationships. Building and nurturing relationships takes a significant investment of one’s time and often competes with task-oriented leadership. However, the drive to get things done must be balanced with the skills to build good relationships. Both are important, but relationships matter most.

Lesson Learned the Hard Way: Pay attention to your intuition. If a decision doesn’t feel quite right, or if you feel uncertain about an issue you are facing, trust your instincts and use your curiosity. Ask questions and keep asking them until you learn everything you need to know to get it right.

Call to Action: As citizens, our voices matter in shaping the world we want to see. Political polarization and divisiveness in our communities are eroding people’s faith and confidence in our democracy and in our relationships with one another. We have to own the responsibility to do the hard work of working together across our differences. 

A Women’s Foundation of Arkansas Initiative

Related Articles