Delta Fellow

Mississippi Delta Fellow

The Mississippi Delta Fellowship is jointly funded by Harvard Law School, through the support of the Winokur Family Foundation, and the Social Science Research Center at Mississippi State. As director of the Delta Directions Consortium, the Delta Fellow works with community-based organizations, academic institutions and foundations to create transformational change in the Mississippi Delta region by improving public health and promoting economic development. Along with the Senior Delta Clinical Fellow at Harvard Law School, the Fellow also supervises the Mississippi Delta Project, a student public service organization at Harvard Law School that works on issues relating to the Delta throughout the year. The Fellow’s principal responsibilities are to:

  • Coordinate among Delta Directions Consortium members and with other institutions;
  • Leverage financial resources, technical assistance, and human capital to improve economic status, health, and educational outcome in the Delta;
  • Foster collaboration among Harvard schools working in the Delta; and
  • Manage and develop projects based on local needs and resources.


Interested in Becoming a Mississippi Delta Fellow?

The Mississippi Delta Fellowship is currently accepting applications for the next Delta Fellow, whose tenure will begin Fall 2016-Fall 2018.

Please view the fellow description here 

 The Current Fellow

Desta Reff is the current Mississippi Delta Fellow, beginning her tenure with the fellowship in September 2013. Before attending law school, Desta worked as an independent filmmaker in New York City, on various projects, including writing and directing her own film which premiered at the Boston International Film Festival in April 2012. While at Harvard, Desta focused on combining her visual and legal skills to promote social advocacy, creating several short documentary pieces that focused on various social justice issues including food access, voter apathy and gender disparities at the law school. She co-found the Harvard Law and Documentary Studio and served as its President for the 2012-13 academic year. In addition to her film work, while at Harvard Desta was involved with the Harvard Women’s Law Association, the Harvard Black Law Students Association, was a student attorney for the Harvard Immigration Clinic, and a member of the Harvard Human Rights Journal and the Harvard International Law Journal.  She received her J.D. from Harvard Law School in 2013 and her B.A. in Communications from the University of Tampa in 2003.

Past Fellows

Nathan Rosenberg, 2012 – 2013
Alexis Chernak, 2010 – 2011
Emily Broad Leib, 2008 – 2010