Concordance Academy of Leadership Adds Nunn, Smith to Growing Executive Team

ST. LOUIS – Danny Ludeman, President and CEO of Concordance Academy, announced two new executives to his senior leadership team, naming Dr. Roderick Nunn as EVP, Head of Education and Employment, and Michelle Smith as EVP, Head of Finance and Administration. Smith has already started with the organization, and Nunn will join the Academy in June.

In his role, Dr. Nunn (photo available at: will oversee the job readiness and education components of Academy curriculum, and integrate them into tailored employment pathways for participants. He will focus on building an in-house employment agency and developing strategic contracts with sector-specific employers in order to provide jobs for every participant upon their release, and help chart customized career paths. Dr. Nunn has spent the past seven years at St. Louis Community College, most recently as its vice chancellor for student affairs, and previously as vice chancellor for economic development and workforce solutions. Before joining the college, he directed the public workforce system for three governors in Missouri and Illinois. Dr. Nunn holds a doctor of management from the University of Maryland-University College, as well as a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Illinois at Springfield.

“Rod was the architect of the high-profile State of St. Louis Workforce Report, a comprehensive workforce research and community engagement initiative,” Ludeman said. “He has a proven ability to develop powerful partnerships between the academic, private and public sectors, making him the perfect fit for this position.”

Smith (photo available at: will be responsible for the daily operations and administration of the Academy, as well as helping map a growth strategy for the organization. She will develop short- and long-term financial business plans, and oversee all compliance for public and private contracts and grants. Smith was most recently managing partner of a Houston-based architectural firm and has consulted for numerous federal clients. She has more than 14 years of experience working in the federal judicial and criminal justice system, blending analytical tools with architectural solutions to inform policy makers on potential impacts from proposed policies, programs, or legislation. Smith holds undergraduate degrees in economics and business from Gettysburg College and graduate degrees from Georgetown University and George Washington University.

“Michelle comes to the Academy with extensive experience in building planning models that examine changes in criminal justice policies to predict the downstream impact on federal law enforcement facilities, including prisons,” Ludeman said. “She will be an outstanding asset to our team.”

Nunn and Smith join Ludeman’s growing senior leadership team, which includes former Missouri Senator Dr. Jeff Smith and former hospital executive Mary Beth Bulte, who were announced in April. Under Ludeman’s leadership, the Academy has raised more than $12 million toward its mission to reduce reincarceration.



Concordance Academy is a St. Louis-based nonprofit that offers the country’s first set of integrated, holistic and evidence-driven services to individuals returning to society from prison. Led by President and CEO Danny Ludeman, the organization assists participants in three primary areas: behavioral health and wellness; education and employment; and community and life skills. The Academy starts working with individuals six months prior to release and continues assisting for up to a year after their return to the community. The organization is committed to restoring individuals, rebuilding families, transforming communities and advancing the field of re-entry services. For more info, visit

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