URBANA, Ill. – Doug Harlan's leadership has guided University of Illinois Extension staff in central Illinois for more than 20 years. Now, Harlan will oversee Extension programs in the state’s lower 48 central and southern counties, serving as Extension assistant director for the 100+-year organization.
Extension has a local presence in every Illinois county, allowing it to seamlessly link communities, businesses, and the public to the innovative research of the university and its partners. A regional network provides support for the organization’s 650 staff members.
Harlan began his Extension leadership career in 2001 as unit leader for Moultrie and Douglas counties. Most recently, he served as county director for DeWitt, Macon, and Piatt counties.
“Extension plays a vital role of bringing research-based educational information to the citizens of the communities in the region,” Harlan says, “More importantly, Extension serves as the key community partner that connects and facilitates community collaborations that improve food access, positive youth development, community gardening, conservation activities, healthy living, and much, much more.”
Harlan transitioned to his new role as Extension assistant director Aug. 1.
“As assistant director, my most important role will be to serve as the communications conduit from the field staff in the region to the program leaders and specialist on campus,” Harlan says. “I am the voice for the region with the Extension Leadership Team.”
Harlan is past president of Illinois’ Epsilon Sigma Phi chapter and a board member for the Joint Council of Extension Professionals.
As the outreach arm of the state’s land-grant university, University of Illinois Extension translates research and knowledge into practical applications for Illinois residents to help them create solutions to local challenges.
Harlan is joined by two other new assistant directors. Durriyyah Kemp will serve as assistant director for northeast Illinois counties. Janice McCoy will serve as assistant director for northwestern and central counties of Illinois.
ABOUT EXTENSION: Illinois Extension leads public outreach for University of Illinois by translating research into action plans that allow Illinois families, businesses, and community leaders to solve problems, make informed decisions, and adapt to changes and opportunities.
WRITER: Judy Mae Bingman, Illinois Extension Marketing and Communication Manager