Phyllis Dickerson Announced as New CEO of AAMA

Published on September 09, 2021

(Washington, D.C.) — Today, the African American Mayors Association -- the exclusive organization representing the nation’s 500+ Black mayors -- announced that Phyllis Dickerson has been appointed as the new CEO. 

“I am honored to serve the nation’s Black mayors. I’ve worked in government for decades, and I’ve seen firsthand how mayors can move communities forward. They are deeply in tune with the needs of their local communities and craft tailored policies that uplift their constituents. Black mayors in particular have the know-how to create equitable solutions to issues disproportionately affecting communities of color. As I look to the future, I am excited to help elevate the voices and ideas of this inspirational group of leaders,” said Phyllis Dickerson

Dickerson brings a strong record in government to AAMA. She has served in many roles for the City of Little Rock, most recently as Chief of Staff. She also served on the Board of Directors and as a Committee Chair for the National Forum for Black Public Administrators.

“As President of the African American Mayors Association, I look forward to working closely with Phyllis. She is an exceptional executive leader with the experience and background to take our organization to the next level. I am confident that she will provide effective day-to-day oversight of our national headquarters while growing AAMA's relationships with key stakeholders. African American Mayors represent communities across the country that face unique challenges and implement innovative programs. It is critically important that our collective voices remain elevated as part of the local, state, and national conversation,” said Mayor Sylvester Turner (Houston, TX), president of AAMA

“I am thrilled to welcome Phyllis as the new head of AAMA. Under her leadership, I am confident that AAMA will elevate its voice even further on the most pressing issues facing our country -- including climate change, environmental racism, and infrastructure,” said Mayor Karen Weaver, the outgoing executive director of AAMA and the former mayor of Flint, Michigan. “As a former mayor, I know firsthand how AAMA supports and uplifts mayors across the nation. With AAMA in Phyllis’ very capable hands, I am sure that this network will only grow stronger.”

President Bill Clinton and Secretary Hilary Clinton said, “Phyllis has worked with us on a number of projects throughout the years, and we have experienced her professionalism and dedication to detail first hand. She is exceptionally talented and approaches her work with a unique blend of experience and enthusiasm. The African American Mayors Association chose wisely when they named her CEO, and we wish her continued success.”

Dickerson’s appointment has immense support from a myriad of Congressional representatives, mayors, and senators. See a full list of quotes below. 

Ernest Green, Little Rock Nine, Little Rock Central High School

“This is an exceptional appointment and one that brings experience and feeling for the needs of these mayors.  She has been tremendously helpful to the Little Rock Nine Foundation and all the presentations we have done at Little Rock Central High.”

Congressman Bennie Thompson (D-MS)

“As Chairman of the Committee on Homeland Security, I look forward to working collaboratively alongside Phyllis and the African American Mayors Association on efforts to support local governments with the resources needed to promote technological advancement. As cities and municipalities become more high-tech, we must take swift action to address concerns regarding increasing threats to cybersecurity.  Under Phyllis' leadership, I am confident that AAMA will continue to have a seat at the table to voice their concerns about the important issues facing our cities and towns.”

Marcia Conner, Executive Director, National Forum for Black Public Administrators

“It’s not surprising that Phyllis has been appointed to this new role.  Phyllis’ enthusiasm for what she does has never faded over the many years she served on our Board & as a committee Chair.  She has always been an individual who is compassionate about public service, and I am confident she will leverage her skills to take AAMA to greater heights.  NFBPA looks forward to developing an even stronger partnership with AAMA in support of the organization’s mission.”

Governor Asa Hutchinson (R-AR)

“As Governor of Arkansas and President of the National Governors Association, I am delighted to know that Phyllis is the newly-appointed CEO of the African American Mayors Association.  She collaborated with my office for many years while she served as Chief of Staff for former Mayor Mark Stodola. AAMA could not have made a better choice as CEO, and I look forward to our continued partnership.

Mayor Frank Scott (Little Rock, AR) & 1st Vice President, AAMA

"I am thrilled to welcome Phyllis Dickerson to this prestigious organization as its CEO," Little Rock, AR Mayor and AAMA 1st Vice President Frank Scott Jr., said. "Phyllis has the expertise to lead the AAMA as mayors glean best practices from each other and seek federal support and guidance to assist cities through this latest phase of the COVID-19 pandemic. Her experiences as chief of staff to my predecessor and as an entrepreneur well position Phyllis to strategically expand the AAMA's influence on federal policy that ultimately benefit the cities that our member mayors lead."

Clarence Anthony, CEO, National League of Cities

“When Phyllis called to give me the news about her appointment as CEO of the African American Mayors Association, I was so excited because I think she is the best person for the role.  I’ve worked with her for many years when she was Chief of Staff to former NLC President Mark Stodola.  I’m excited about our new opportunities to collaborate in the future.”

Former Mayor Mark Stodola (Little Rock, AR) 

“Phyllis was a wonderful support to me during my 12 years as Mayor of Little Rock.  As my Chief of Staff, she coordinated multiple issues simultaneously.  She is intelligent, very organized and knows how to get things done, and done on time.  The African American Mayors Association has made an excellent choice for their Chief Executive Officer.  Congratulations to Phyllis and the organization.  I look forward to seeing her in this new role.”

Terri Broussard Williams, AAMA Business Council Chair 

"Phyllis Dickerson comes to the African American Mayors Association having served as Chief of Staff for a Mayor and with corporate experience. She is uniquely positioned to serve as an ally for the Business Council as we expand our outreach." 

US Congressman French Hill (R-AR)

“Phyllis has been a valuable resource to my team and me throughout her tenure at the highest levels of City Hall in Little Rock, and we congratulate her on her new role and are excited to welcome her to Washington, DC, where she will continue to be an advocate for central Arkansas and some of my priority areas including boosting employment and job training , supporting small businesses, and strengthening our communities.”

Mayor Michael Hancock (Denver, CO)

“Phyllis is uniquely qualified to do this job because she is entrepreneurial, creative, innovative and collaborative.  Her leadership will indelibly elevate the critical agenda of the AAMA.  Get ready and enjoy the ride as this dynamic leader soars our organization to new levels.”

Mayor McKinley Price (Newport News, VA)

“She has a clear grasp of the needs of the AAMA and a strategic focus on accomplishing those goals.  Her contacts and knowledge of other organizations is superior.  She will create a friendly and productive work environment.”

Mayor Van Johnson (Savannah, GA)

“After years of working with Phyllis in NFBPA, I affectionately call her “Olivia Pope” because she fixes things and makes things happen.  Her attention to detail and her massive contact list make her the perfect CEO to take AAMA to the next level.  I am excited to work with her again as she takes AAMA to it’s best life.”

US Senator John Boozman (R-AR)

“Arkansas is proud of everything Phyllis has accomplished and we wish her well in this new role with AAMA. The valuable experience she gained in central Arkansas will allow her to serve the organization well and we look forward to the ongoing contributions she will continue to make to her home state in this new chapter.”

Mayor Stephen Benjamin (Columbia, SC)

“I’m excited about the future of AAMA.  I had the opportunity to meet Phyllis in 2008 when she was an Advance Lead for Hillary Clinton.  Since that time, I ‘ve seen her in many roles, as a Chief of Staff and entrepreneur.  She never ceases to amaze me as she deftly juggles as many plates in the air and does not let one fall.  I can’t wait to see how she reinvents herself and AAMA.”

Tom Cochran, CEO & Executive Director, U.S. Conference of Mayors

“We congratulate Phyllis Dickerson as the new CEO of the African American Mayors Association,” said Tom Cochran, CEO & Executive Director of the U.S. Conference of Mayors.  “Ms. Dickerson worked with the U.S. Conference of Mayors on a number of successful initiatives during her tenure as Chief of Staff for the City of Little Rock, Arkansas.  Our two organizations represent America’s mayors with Mayor Nan Whaley as President of the U.S. Conference of Mayors and Mayor Sylvester Turner as President of the African American Mayors Association have just launched our Compast on Racial Equity and we look forward to more collaborations as we go forward together representing the mayors and cities of our nation.”

Mayor Hardie Davis (Augusta, GA)

“I met Phyllis in the U.S. Conference of Mayors a few years ago when she served as Chief of Staff  to former LIttle Rock Mayor Mark Stodola.  I was amazed at how she knew everyone and everyone knew her at the conference.  Her dynamic personality, contacts and logistical skills will definitely take AAMA to the next level.”

Mayor Shawyn Patterson Howard (Mt. Vernon, NY) & 2nd Vice President, AAMA

“Phyllis’s extensive government and philanthropic experience coupled with her strategic thinking, infectious energy, visionary leadership and ability to “get it done” is  respected nationally.  We look forward to working with our new CEO to address legacy issues faced by our communities and seize opportunities to expand AAMA’s voice nationally and impact locally.”

Mayor Brandon Scott (Baltimore, MD)

“The African American Mayors Association plays a critical role in representing Black mayors and elevating our policy challenges in Washington, DC.  With stakes so high for our communities, I am excited for the experience and leadership Phyllis Dickerson will bring to AAMA.  Phyllis understands the unique roles of local mayors in shaping national policy and producing equitable outcomes.”

Mayor William Johnson (Holy Hill, SC) & Secretary, AAMA

“As an advocate for small town mayors, I’m excited about Phyllis Dickerson as CEO of AAMA because of her experience growing up in Arkansas, she understands the challenges that many small cities face and the limited resources within their cities.  During her interview process, I was impressed by her knowledge of municipal government and I look forward to working with her.”


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