Women in Government

Chris Gregoire on the "Bloodsport" of Politics

In a new podcast interview, the former two-term Washington governor says the lack of women in public office is her "biggest pet peeve."

The City Councils Where Women Are Least Represented

New York City prides itself on being the epicenter of progressive politics -- and yet, it has one of the nation's worst gender gaps in city politics.

The Emerging Strategy for Capitalizing on Women's Unprecedented Interest in Politics

Women have mobilized in large numbers to run for office before. Women-in-politics advocates want to make sure it's sustainable this time.


Chris Gregoire on the "Bloodsport" of Politics

In a new podcast interview, the former two-term Washington governor says the lack of women in public office is her "biggest pet peeve."


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.