Arkansas Research Alliance Announces 6 New Board Members


The Arkansas Research Alliance announced Wednesday the addition of six new members to its board.

They are:

  • Chris Barber, president and CEO of St. Bernards Healthcare; 

  • Curtis Barnett, president and CEO of Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield; 

  • Marty Casteel, the former president and CEO of Simmons Bank; 

  • Mary Ward, chief people officer at Acxiom; 

  • Barbara Sugg, president and CEO of Southwest Power Pool; and 

  • Charles Robinson, acting chancellor at the University of Arkansas.

Established in 2008, the ARA works with its six research institutions — the University of Arkansas, University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, Arkansas State University, University of Arkansas at Little Rock, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, and National Center for Toxicological Research — on strategic research leader recruitment, retention and recognition.

The organization has developed the ARA Academy of Scholars and Fellows that includes more than 30 members of the state's research community.