Women in Government

Women Mayors on #MeToo: 'We Have a Responsibility'

At the U.S. Conference of Mayors meeting this week, a panel of female mayors gathered to discuss the movement's impact on them and the way they lead their communities.

Other Lawmakers 'Would Say They Had Shoes Older Than Me'

Susana Mendoza was just 28 years old when she was first elected. Now she oversees how her former colleagues are spending their state's money.

How Sexual Harassment Scandals Are Shaking Up Special Elections

Ten states have special legislative elections this month -- several because politicians facing allegations have either left office or committed suicide.

In New Governors’ Cabinets, Diversity Is Priority

Ralph Northam and Phil Murphy, both recently sworn in, are already making history.


Other Lawmakers 'Would Say They Had Shoes Older Than Me'

Susana Mendoza was just 28 years old when she was first elected. Now she oversees how her former colleagues are spending their state's money.


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

This just in: The 2018 Honorees have been announced. View them here.

Nominate for 2019


2017 Honorees

Diane Allen

State Senator, New Jersey

Megan Barry

Mayor, Nashville, Tennessee

Rebecca M. Benally

Commissioner, San Juan County, Utah

Ruby Brabo

Supervisor, King George County, Virginia

Cynthia Cloud

State Auditor, Wyoming

Suzanne Crouch

Lieutenant Governor, Indiana

Debra Davis

Commissioner, Charles County, Maryland

Eileen Filler-Corn

State Delegate, Virginia

Karen Freeman-Wilson

Mayor, Gary, Indiana

Cindy Hyde-Smith

Commissioner of Agriculture and Commerce, Mississippi

Tameika Isaac Devine

Councilwoman, Columbia, South Carolina

Merceria Ludgood

Commissioner, Mobile County, Alabama

Lydia Mihalik

Mayor, Findlay, Ohio

Blair Milo

Mayor, LaPorte, Indiana

Holly Mitchell

State Senator, California

Cherelle Parker

Councilwoman, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Deb Peters

State Senator, South Dakota

Toni Preckwinkle

Board President, Cook County, Illinois

Crystal Rhoades

Nebraska Public Service Commission

Nily Rozic

Assemblywoman, New York

Evelyn Sanguinetti

Lieutenant Governor, Illinois

Julia Stokes

State Representative, Louisiana

Chelsa Wagner

Controller, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania

Betty Yee

State Controller, California

Niki Cid

Deputy District Attorney, Placer County, California

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.