Yvonne Sparks appointed as newest curator for UM System

Sparks has worked for the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis since 2008.
Portrait of Yvonne S. Sparks. Photo courtesy Governor Nixon's office

Gov. Jay Nixon appointed Yvonne S. Sparks as the newest member of the UM System Board of Curators on Friday to represent the First Congressional District.

The curators supervise the UM System’s four campuses in Columbia, St. Louis, Kansas City and Rolla. The board consists of nine people appointed by the governor.

“Yvonne is a proven leader who has dedicated her career to strengthening and enriching communities,” Nixon said in a news release. “Each curator serves to help the university meet the highest standards of excellence. Yvonne’s career and experience have prepared her well for this important responsibility.”

Gov. Nixon appointed Mary E. Nelson to represent the First Congressional District on the board on Dec. 26, 2014. Curators typically serve a six-year term. Gov. Nixon provided no information pertaining to the removal of Nelson.

Sparks will represent the First Congressional District until Jan. 1, 2021. Her appointment will be subject to confirmation by the Missouri Senate.

Sparks is the assistant vice president and community development officer for the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. She joined the Federal Reserve in 2008 as the senior manager of community development.

Sparks graduated from UM-St. Louis with a bachelor’s degree in administration of justice. She later earned an master’s degree in management and leadership from Webster University and an master’s degree in public administration from St. Louis University. She also attended the Harvard Kennedy School of Government’s Program for Senior Executives in Government.

She previously served as the executive director of the Vashon/JeffVanderLou Initiative in St. Louis, vice president and regional manager of community development at Bank of America, vice president of community development at NationsBank, and executive director of Neighborhood Housing Services of St. Louis.

Sparks’s membership on the Community Partner Group at St. Louis University’s George Warren Brown School of Social Work allowed her to provide policy recommendations for the Missouri Foundation for Health Grant award that offers joint academic research on health, educational and economic status of African Americans in St. Louis.

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