Representative: Tara L. Buckner, C’87
President, National Alumnae Association of Spelman College (NAASC)
B.A., Spelman College
M.P.A., Wayne State University
Spelman College Board of Trustees: Elected in 2016
Tara L. Buckner is the president of the National Alumnae Association of Spelman College. NAASC is the official organization that supports Spelman College through financial gifts, student recruitment, sisterhood, community service and recognition of Spelman women. NAASC also provides support to current students.
Buckner is passionate about teaching the culture of “giving back.” Her initial involvement with NAASC began as a Spelman undergrad when she hosted the first tea in honor of incoming freshmen from Minnesota. After graduation, she led the official chartering of the Minneapolis/St. Paul chapter and has, over the past 25 years, served NAASC at all three levels.
She is the compliance division manager at Better Family Life, Inc., a St. Louis community service agency responsible for providing workforce case management to families receiving TANF benefits in Missouri. Before joining BFL, Buckner was the executive director of the Greater St. Louis Regional Empowerment Zone where she managed $25.6 million in grants from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and leveraged more than $505 million in matching resources.
A member of the American Institute of Certified Planners, Buckner has led municipal projects in St. Louis, Minneapolis and Detroit including economic and community development, strategic planning, community engagement, grant writing and organizational management. She chairs the Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District Civil Service Commission, serves on the Downtown St. Louis YMCA Advisory Board, and is the immediate past president of the St. Louis Chapter of Jack and Jill of America, Inc. She is a member of the Gamma Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.
She received her undergraduate degree in political science from Spelman College, and earned a master of public administration from Wayne State University in Detroit. Buckner’s two sisters and eight cousins are Spelman graduates. Buckner was born in Kansas City, Kan., and raised in Minneapolis. She is married to Morehouse alum Aaron N. Swain and they have two college-age daughters, Mauryn and Meridian Buckner-Swain. Buckner is a member of Pilgrim Congregational United Church of Christ (UCC).