11th National President
The 11th National President, Patricia Russell-McCloud took the helm of leadership for Linkdom in 1994 with the anticipation of definitive outcomes for the organization’s 21st century readiness. Her vision, education, employment, experiences, training and proven track record of accomplishment set the stage for success.
A Hoosier by birth, Patricia Russell-McCloud, was born in Indianapolis, Indiana where she attended Shortridge High School. Her undergraduate studies were at Kentucky State College, Frankfort, Kentucky, after which she attended an intensive study program, sponsored by the Council for Legal Educational Program, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, and matriculated for her Jurist Doctorate degree at Howard University School of Law, Washington, D.C. Throughout her education, she was captured by the opportunity and challenge of learning. Each course endeavor afforded new knowledge, growth and understanding.
Since the early age of eight, this National President was at the nation’s podiums as a gifted child prodigy, speaking to large audiences in an oratorical, persuasive and motivational style. Many awards and recognitions were presented to her, including the Elk’s Oratorical Scholarship for her exceptional ability, talent and skill in the art of public speaking.
As a professional, for a ten-year period, she worked as an attorney for the Federal Communications Commission, Broadcast Bureau, Washington, D. C., where she became Chief, of the Complaints Branch. In so doing, she was the first African American female to hold the position.
In l976, The Links, Incorporated, Arlington Chapter, accepted her into membership, which served as a fulfillment to her heartfelt commitment to empowering individuals who may otherwise be denied. From the year of her induction into The Links, Incorporated, she has served on the Executive Council of the organization, ranging from the National Nominating Committee to the National President.
In 1983, in her home church, she exchanged wedding vows with Rev. Dr. E. Earl McCloud, Jr., and moved to San Antonio, Texas where her husband was serving in the United States Army. Her husband, Bishop E. Earl McCloud, Jr., is now the 127th elected and consecrated Bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, and the Presiding Bishop of the 14th Episcopal District of the AME Church, Liberia, Nigeria, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Togo / Benin. As a member of her local chapter, Link Russell-McCloud was highly responsive to program endeavors for the benefit of the community which was being served. In the same year, she formed her now internationally recognized company, Russell-McCloud & Associates, as a professional orator and trainer. Her professional caption is appropriate, for she is, “a visual speaking experience.” After consistent development and expansion, Russell-McCloud’s analytical ability to substantively address issues, including achieving excellence, hot topics in education, leadership, women’s issues, workplace diversity and inclusion, implicit bias and change, among others, has made her a speaker of choice. Her client base includes Fortune 500 and l00 companies, government, labor unions, military, colleges and universities, school districts and religious organizations. She has traveled across America, South America, Canada, the Caribbean, Europe, Australia, Asia, South Africa and West Africa.
During her lifetime, she has received sterling awards of achievement, including, her speech, “If Not You, Who? If Not Now, When?” recorded in the Congressional Record of the United States (H366l), May l4, 1980; awarded more than 300 keys to American cities; participant in the Friendship Force, a good will tour of Mexico during the Carter Administration; participant in the American-Jewish Committee sponsorship of ten American women of national acclaim on a human relations trip to Israel; featured in the Black Enterprise Magazine as being one of the Top Five Business Motivators in America; ESSENCE Magazine, EBONY Magazine, and Atlanta Good Life. Her best- selling books are entitled: My Journal: Myself, Inside Out, Letay Publishing, and A is for Attitude: An Alphabet for Living, Harper Collins, paperback edition. The National Speakers Association (NSA) selected Link McCloud as the cover story for the 2007 July-August issue.
As a wife, committed church woman, especially to the Women’s Missionary Society and the young people of the African Methodist Episcopal Church; entrepreneur; life member of the NAACP; life member of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.; member, International Women’s Forum (IWF) and civic volunteer; she resides in Atlanta, Georgia, with her husband. She is an active member of the Dogwood City (GA) Chapter of The Links, Incorporated. She has a highly successful scholarship initiative at her Alma Mater, Kentucky State University for African American Women scholars in STEM related careers. As well, she has mentored 145 professionals who have taken their place on the global stage in their chosen fields of endeavor. Her loyalty to achieving, often against the odds, is, in a word, unforgettable.
Link Russell-McCloud led a dynamic, visionary, capable, dedicated team of Links who focused their time, talent, ability and expertise on the timely theme, “Linkages…Toward the Possible.” Each member of the Executive Council, whether elected or appointed, concentrated her efforts on creating seamless organizational leadership that positively responded to the heart of Linkdom, programming. By doing so, the needs of people were met.