Kevin Dedner

Director of State Government Relations and Policy Development

Mid-South Division Inc. of the American Cancer Society

Little Rock

Kevin Dedner

Kevin Dedner was planning a career in politics but then became disillusioned with the political process.

So the 30-year-old Little Rock native took a job with the Mid-South Division of the American Cancer Society in March 2003 as the Arkansas government relations director.

“I was fortunate to find the opportunity with the society, and I haven’t looked back,” he said.

In August, Dedner was named director of state government relations and policy development for the agency, where he’s responsible for managing the public policy agenda for the six-state division. One of his successes has been helping to pass laws in Arkansas and Louisiana that prohibit smoking in public places.

Before he joined the Cancer Society, Dedner was racking up accomplishments in the political arena, including being appointed director of the African-American outreach effort for Al Gore’s presidential run. He also was the director of outreach for the Arkansas Democratic Party.

Dedner serves the community as a member of the Arkansas Society of Association Executives, Minority Health Consortium and the Bio-Ethics Committee of Arkansas Children’s Hospital.

Dedner said he tries to follow Mahatma Gandhi’s advice: “Be the change you want to see in the world.”