JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Gov. Jay Nixon today announced the appointment of Yvonne S. Sparks (D), of St. Louis, to serve on the University of Missouri Board of Curators, which oversees the operation of the four-campus University of Missouri System.

“Yvonne is a proven leader who has dedicated her career to strengthening and enriching communities,” Gov. Nixon said. “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.” 

Currently, Sparks is the Assistant Vice President and Community Development Officer for the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, where she is responsible for overseeing the community development functions of the 8th Federal Reserve District.  She also serves as a member of the Federal Reserve System Subcommittee on Community Development.  Sparks joined the Federal Reserve in 2008 as senior manager of community development, managing field staff in branch offices throughout the seven-state 8th District Federal Reserve Bank System. Headquartered in St. Louis, 8th District includes all of Arkansas and portions of six other states: Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri and Tennessee.

A native of Troy, Sparks 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 Banking at NationsBank; and Executive Director of Neighborhood Housing Services of St. Louis.

She has served on numerous boards including the St. Louis Public Library, Ecumenical Housing Production Corporation, the St. Louis Regional Empowerment Zone, the St. Louis Regional Arts Commission, and the Regional Plan for Sustainable Development of the East-West Gateway Council of Governments.

As a member of the Community Partner Group at St. Louis University’s George Warren Brown School of Social Work, Sparks provided policy recommendations for the implementation of a Missouri Foundation for Health grant award for joint academic research on the health, educational and economic status of African Americans in St. Louis.

Sparks earned a B.S. in the Administration of Justice, cum laude, from the University of Missouri-St. Louis; an M.A. in Management and Leadership from Webster University; and an M.A. in Public Administration from St. Louis University. She also attended the Harvard Kennedy School of Government’s Program for Senior Executives in Government.

Under the Missouri Constitution, governance of the University of Missouri System is vested in an independent Board of Curators, appointed by the Governor with the advice and consent of the Missouri Senate.

Sparks will represent the First Congressional District on the Board of Curators, for a term ending Jan. 1, 2021.  This appointment will be subject to confirmation by the Senate.