WASHINGTON, DC — Governing announced the selection of 25 women elected leaders to the Women in Government Leadership Program Class of 2018, including House Republican Leader Themis Klarides from Connecticut. The women selected to the program are changing the face of politics in America, from council chambers to statehouses, during a tumultuous time in American history. Their service, courage and commitment to advancing good government is celebrated with their invitation to this national network.
Governing Institute’s Women in Government Leadership Program brings together outstanding elected women leaders from across the nation to acknowledge their contributions, provide leadership development and mentor the next generation of women leaders to run for office. The 75 alumnae of the program are now “paying it forward” by recruiting women candidates around the U.S. and supporting initiatives to support women in appointed, elected and staff positions in government.
“Gender parity in politics continues to stagnate in this country with women elected to only 23 percent of all local and state offices,” said Cathilea Robinett, president of Governing. “2018 will be a bellwether year for female candidates, however, as thousands have registered for training programs since the most recent general election. At Governing, we are proud to contribute to this movement through the Women in Government Leadership Program. We see first-hand the difference women make in the lives of millions of constituents. Congratulations to the 25 women selected for the Class of 2018.”
Nominations were received for nearly 150 women for the Class of 2018. The class was selected based on career and educational accomplishments, personal recommendations, a commitment to actively participate and the goal of seating a diverse class. Each class also includes one rising star, a young woman not yet serving in elected office, but with the interest and potential to run in the future.
The first member of the Class of 2018, Indiana State Rep. Robin Shackleford, was selected in July as the State Legislative Leaders Foundation (SLLF) Lois M. DeBerry Scholar. The annual scholarship acknowledges the pioneering work of Rep. DeBerry of Tennessee and encourages recipients to carry the spirit of leadership forward in support of women in elected office as Rep. DeBerry did for 41 years in the Tennessee House of Representatives.
“The women in the Class of 2018 are subject matter experts, negotiators, civic activists and pioneers,” said Julia Burrows, director of the Governing Institute. “Each year, the program adds to a national network, with 25 new members who establish deep friendships, provide consultation and campaign support and recruit future female candidates. The common goals of gender parity and advancing good government forge a bond that rises above partisanship and will pay dividends for many generations.”
Each class is chosen from nominations submitted online at www.governing.com/wig. Women must be elected to a state or local office and not on the ballot or running unopposed during the program year.
The 25 women in the program’s new class will be profiled in the February 2018 issue of Governing magazine and will participate in Governing events throughout the coming year.