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Pine Bluff native Todd named to UA board

by I.C. Murrell | June 23, 2022 at 2:43 a.m.
Nathaniel "Nate" Todd is shown in this 2017 courtesy photo.

Pine Bluff native and Arkansas Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Col. Nate Todd was appointed to the University of Arkansas Board of Trustees, Gov. Asa Hutchinson's office announced Wednesday.

Todd replaces Dr. Stephen Broughton, a Pine Bluff native and resident who completed his 10-year term in March. Broughton spent the last year of his term as the board president. Drew County attorney Cliff Gibson is now the board president.

Todd begins his appointment today with a trustees meeting over Zoom.

"I didn't graduate from the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, but I did get an education from Arkansas AM&N College," Todd said. "My first- through sixth-grade teachers were graduates of AM&N, and one of my math teachers, Ethel Davis, inspired me to be all that I can be. I look forward to understanding the system and learning about all the campuses and providing opportunities to all Arkansans and understanding faculty requirements."

Todd, who graduated from Pine Bluff High School in 1976, is a 37-year veteran of the Army and Army Reserve, according to Hutchinson's office. He directed health financial policy for the U.S. Army Surgeon General and served as chief financial officer for the Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C.

"I give glory to God for His limitless blessings," Todd said in the announcement. "I am honored and deeply grateful to Governor Hutchinson for his confidence in me, thankful for the unending support from my family, and appreciative of the Pine Bluff community and its educators who inspired me to be a lifelong learner. I am eager to serve with the other trustees and to learn from them and Dr. [Donald] Bobbitt, as we build on the work of those who came before us. I am humbled for the opportunity to share my life experiences and to join other leaders as we serve the University of Arkansas System to continue its journey toward even greater heights in support of Arkansas students and faculty."

Bobbitt is president of the UA System.

In recent months, Todd has helped fellow Pine Bluff resident and Arkansas Department of Education operations manager Freddie Scott convene area education leaders for sessions on identifying resources in place to assure academic success for students in grade school through higher education in the city.

"The fact we wanted to elevate awareness for the needs of resources in education in the community brought us together," Scott said. "He taps into the minds of leadership. He knows, 'What does a meeting look like?' In organizing the group, he tries to get a cross-section of leaders."

This is not the first appointment to a state position Todd has received from Hutchinson. Todd was CFO of the Central Arkansas Veterans Health Care System in February 2017 when the governor picked him to be director of the Arkansas Department of Veterans Affairs. Todd then was named the first cabinet secretary of the department after the General Assembly passed Hutchinson's government transformation initiative.

In Wednesday's announcement, Hutchinson said Todd "devoted his entire life to the service of the United States," starting from the time he was a member of the Air Force Junior ROTC at Pine Bluff High School.

"His appointment as a University of Arkansas trustee is a natural extension of his career of caring for his state and nation," Hutchinson said. "Colonel Todd is a quiet man whose compassion and faith drive all that he does. I am grateful he has agreed to serve. His wisdom and kindness are critical at this time in the history of the University of Arkansas."

A member of First Missionary Baptist Church in Pine Bluff, Todd has served at Fort Bliss and William Belmont Medical Center in El Paso, Texas; Fort Sill, Okla.,; Falls Church, Va.; Bethesda, Md.; Seoul, South Korea; and Bremerhaven, Germany.

Todd has earned degrees from the University of Houston (bachelor's in industrial technology) and Baylor University (Master's in healthcare administration), CFO leadership certification from the National Defense University at Fort McNair in Washington, and a National Security Management fellowship from Syracuse University. He also graduated from the Executive Medical Leadership Course at George Washington University.

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