Institute of Politics

Adrian Perkins

Former Democratic Mayor of Shreveport, LA

  • Winter-Spring 2023 Pritzker Fellow

  • Seminars


Mayor Perkins is a native of Shreveport, Louisiana. In the wake of 9/11, he accepted a nomination and eventually graduated from West Point as the first African-American graduate elected Class President in the school’s history. In 2008 he entered the United States Army eventually serving three tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan, achieving the rank of Captain and Company Commander, and receiving the Bronze Star for his service. While transitioning from the military, the Tillman Foundation accepted him into their Tillman Scholar Program which enabled him to attend Harvard Law School, where he was elected Student Body President.

On December 31, 2018 Mayor Perkins was elected the 56th Mayor of the City of Shreveport. Unfortunately, after just a year, his mayoral term was disrupted by the global pandemic. As the youngest Mayor of any major American city in 2021 he led with distinction. Mayor Perkins’ was highlighted by the Washington Post as leading the first city in the country to identify COVIDs disproportional impact on urban and minority communities. His innovative leadership undoubtedly saved lives beyond the city limits of Shreveport.

Still, in office Mayor Perkins worked hard to improve the quality of life for all citizens focusing on economic development, public safety and infrastructure improvements, as well as technology initiatives. Notably, Mayor Perkins hired the Shreveport’s first Chief Technology Officer, stood up its Real Time Crime Center, was a founding member of Mayors for Guaranteed Income, and transformed a 1.2 million dollars deficit into a 55-million-dollar surplus in three years.

In addition to serving as Mayor, Mayor Perkins also serves on several boards including the Service 2 School; Crime-Vision, Southern Rail Commission; Federal Communications Commission’s Intergovernmental Advisory Committee; United States Conference of Mayors Board of Trustees; and Northwest Louisiana’s Metropolitan Planning Organization.

Adrian enjoys working out, reading, writing, traveling, and spending time with friends and family.


"Reinventing the American City through Technology"

The arc of my seminar starts with an introduction to who I am. We will discuss what it was like to run Shreveport, Louisiana as a Millennial in my early 30s and being the youngest Mayor of a major US City during Covid. The seminars will cover the benefits and challenges of running a mid-sized city. After analyzing the problems of mid-sized cities, we’ll transition to an exploration of potential tech solutions like Smart Grids. These smart grids can deliver city services more efficiently in cost and operations. However, the more cities automate, the more vulnerable they become to cyberattacks. In expounding on the cybersecurity threats, I will circle back to the general vulnerabilities of midsized and rural municipalities and their impact on the country as a whole.

After Spring Break we’ll jump back into technology and discuss its Achilles heels, the digital divide, and the disparate workforce development that it exacerbates every day. We’ll transition from discussing these modern shortcomings and inequities to once again looking for tech solutions. This time we’ll meet at the intersection of new tech-driven techniques and old-fashioned policy creation. Finally, we’ll discuss the difference in changing policy vs. changing culture and the role that local media plays in anchoring our more conservative cultural norms.

Have Questions?

Newsletter Form

Stay Informed

Our emails are the best way to keep up-to-date on all of our events and programming.