Women in Government

The Women in Government Leadership Program was created in 2014 as an ongoing, program of the Governing Institute. Each summer, 25 women serving in state and local offices will be selected to participate in the bipartisan national program.

Statistics from academic institutions including the Center for American Women in Politics (CAWP) at Rutgers University clearly show the number of women in elected office in local and state offices has largely remained stagnant since the early 1990s.The Governing Institute is making a deliberate and strategic effort to invest in programs and resources that support elected women in government. The Women in Government Leadership Program is one such program and has three primary goals.

First, to acknowledge and celebrate the work of women public servants by highlighting them in Governing.

Second, to provide leadership training and job critical skills during three in-person retreats where the cohort establishes relationships and a network with their class and program alumnae.

Third, the participants will be asked to pay it forward by mentoring the next generation of women running for office. We look forward to seeing the power and impact of these influential women now and in the future.

2015 Honorees

2016 Honorees

2017 Honorees

2019 Honorees (Headshots and profiles coming later this year)

Nominate for 2020


2018 Honorees

Vivian Davis Figures

State Senator, Alabama

Macy Amos

Attorney, Nashville Department of Law

Brenda A. Howerton

County Commissioner, Durham County, N.C.

Attica Scott

State Representative, Kentucky

Emilia Sykes

State Representative, Ohio

Kim McMillan

Mayor, Clarksville, Tenn.

Marian Orr

Mayor, Cheyenne, Wyo.

Toi Hutchinson

State Senator, Illinois

Nellie M. Gorbea

Secretary of State, Rhode Island

Rosalynn Bliss

Mayor, Grand Rapids, Mich.

Helena Moreno

State Representative, Louisiana

Connie Rockco

County Supervisor, Harrison County, Miss.

Catherine Pugh

Mayor, Baltimore, Md.

Cindy Bobbitt

County Commissioner, Grant County, Okla.

Lena Fowler

Supervisor, Coconino County, Ariz.

Alisha Bell

Vice Chair, County Commission, Wayne County, Mich.

Themis Klarides

State Representative, Connecticut

Kimberly Yee

State Senator, Arizona

Debra March

Mayor, Henderson, Nev.

Robin Shackleford

State Representative, Indiana

Acquanetta Warren

Mayor, Fontana, Calif.

Allison Ball

State Treasurer, Kentucky

Kim K. Ogg

District Attorney, Harris County, Texas

Melissa McKinlay

Mayor, Palm Beach County, Fla.

Affie Ellis

State Senator, Wyoming

The Center for American Women and Politics (CAWP) at Rutgers University has been an ongoing adviser to the Women in Government Leadership Program, providing expertise in the area of women's political participation in American politics.