Thelma French, President & CEO, Total Community Action, Inc.

Thelma Harris French is the President/CEO of Total Community Action, Inc., the city’s federally designated anti-poverty agency, and Head Start grantee. As a champion and advocate for early childhood development, quality and equitable education and employment opportunities, Mrs. French serves as the Secretary of the Board of the Orleans Public Education Network (OPEN), and a member of the Steering Committee of the New Orleans Early Care & Education Network (NOEEN) and a board member of BENOLA.

Her public administrative experience includes serving as Director of Board Operations and Intergovernmental Relations for the Orleans Parish School Board, Executive Assistant for Federal and State Programs for former mayors Marc Morial and Ray Nagin. Ms. French has also served as an Assistant Professor of Sociology and Criminal Justice. She is a member of the National Community Action Partnership, the Alliance for Children and Families, the Louisiana Workforce Investment Council, the New Orleans Workforce Development Board, the Association of Community Action Partnership of Louisiana; Orleans Parish Juvenile Justice Advisory Committee, Criminal Justice Coordinating Council, Providence Community Housing, and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.

However she states her proudest achievements are her children, daughter Nia Danielle Harris French, son, Gerard Norbert French and grandchildren Cairo Gerard and Reese Bailey and Reagan Danielle.