Educating, Empowering, and Equipping

Educating, equipping and empowering faith-based leaders to embrace and apply biblical principles to life and in the marketplace.

About Douglass Leadership Institute

The Douglass Leadership Institute (DLI) is a national education and public policy 501(c)(3) organization with representatives and groups across the United States. DLI’s philosophy is based upon the sanctity of human life, the promotion of free market principles, and limited government.  Founded in 2015, DLI is the brainchild of Dean Nelson, a minister and veteran political and pro-life leader. Through Dean’s years of working with African American churches and advocacy for biblical worldview in the marketplace, it became clear that there was a need to bridge the gap between African American faith-based institutions, civil government and the civic world.

Thus, DLI was created to develop a network of faith-based leaders across the nation and provide them with uniquely tailored programs, information and social networking that will engage, equip and empower men and women of faith. So that men and women of faith need to not only take positions of leadership and prominence in our cities and businesses but to also come equipped with biblical worldview values to shape and influence policy in our nation.

Core Values

The Douglass Leadership Institute is based on these core values:

  • Integrity

  • Justice

  • Virtue

  • Transparency

  • Respect

  • Responsibility

DLI’s Mission Statement

To educate, equip and empower faith-based leaders to embrace and apply biblical principles to life and in the marketplace.

DLI’s Vision Statement

A nation of prosperous, flourishing communities transformed by men and women who embrace a biblical worldview in cultural and civic engagement.

DLI’s Strategic Pillars

Pillar I

Teach biblically based values and principles of civic engagement that empowers citizens to impact government and public policy.

Pillar II

Equip and empower black faith-based leaders to influence the marketplace.

Pillar III

Produce/distribute culturally relevant resources that direct leaders toward biblical values and community engagement.

Meet the Team

Dean Nelson

Dean Nelson

Board Chair

Rev. Nelson is a licensed minister, ordained pastor, executive leader, organizational consultant, political activist, and sought after speaker. He currently serves as the national outreach director at Online for Life and as the chairman of the Frederick Douglass Foundation. He is married to the love of his life, Julia Nelson, and they have three children.

Kevin McGary

Kevin McGary

Senior Development Associate

Kevin McGary is a public speaker, ministry leader and 30 year entrepreneurial veteran in the Information Technology sector. For DLI, he is serving as the Senior Development Associate, leading the development staff and representing the organizations’ goals to partners nationwide. Kevin is happily married and the father of two children.

Glo Smith, MBA

Glo Smith, MBA

State Director - Florida

Glo Smith is a management consultant, political activist and former congressional candidate. As DLI’s State Director - Florida. Her efforts will center upon leading local teams to promote DLI’s mission to churches, non-profits and the business community. Happily married, Glo is a native of Florida and the mother of 4 children.

Andrew Shannon

Andrew Shannon

National Training Director

Andrew Shannon is a community activist with over 30 years of experience working with groups and individuals on direct action campaigns. As the National Training Director, he leads community education efforts via canvassing and training events. A North Carolina native, Andrew is happily married and the father of 2 daughters.

Ashley Cash

Ashley Cash

Exec Assistant to President

Ashley Cash has worked in the non-profit community for over five years. Now at DLI, her efforts center upon administration and operation. She feels it is a great honor to work for causes like that of the Douglass Leadership Institute which she believes will facilitate understanding, peace and joy in many lives. She lives in Northern Virginia with her growing family.

Regina Roundtree

Regina Roundtree

National Communications Coordinator

Regina Roundtree is a marketing and management consultant, who has extensive experience working with non-profits, political groups and business organizations. As DLI’s National Communications Coordinator, Regina is tasked with effectively communicating DLI’s mission, vision and activities through social media and other outlets to state communities nationwide.

Gerard Henry

Gerard Henry

National Radio Host

Gerard Henry is the creator and original host of the highly rated Black Entertainment Television, Inc. (BET) Gospel music video show, “Lift Every Voice” Considered to be a pioneer in bridging the Gospel Music and Lifestyle experience TV Format, Gerard is also a Pastor, Published Author, Inspirational speaker, Committed husband and Father of four.

Faith Gladden

Faith Gladden

National Events Coordinator

Faith Gladden is a Certified Meeting Professional, who has spent over 15 years working with Christian ministries, non-profits and businesses on conference events nationwide. Currently, Faith serves as the DLI National Events Coordinator supervising forum event in 8 states. A Texas native, Faith is happily married and mother of 4 children.

Martin Brown

Martin Brown

Senior Policy Analyst

Martin Brown has over 20 years of leadership experience in human services and government relations serving three Virginia Governor’s. Most recently Mr. Brown served as Special Advisor to the Governor for Prisoner Reentry and Family Reintegration and as Commissioner of the Virginia Department of Social Services. Mr. Brown is a graduate of Howard University's School of Business. He and his wife have two teen-aged children and reside in Richmond, VA.

Jeremy Hunt

Jeremy Hunt

Leadership Strategist

Jeremy Hunt is a Second Lieutenant in the United States Army and he is currently stationed in Georgia. Jeremy contributes to the team as a Leadership Strategist as well as helping with our outreach to youth and young adults.

Dr. James Leak

Dr. James Leak

Sr. Leadership Fellow

Dr. James G. Leak is a seasoned leader who serves as President/CEO for James Leak and Associates, LLC and as an executive pastor. He holds a master’s degree in general management and a doctorate in organizational leadership. James is married to Vanessa and they have six children together.