Women in Government

'When You Fire Up a Black Woman, She Doesn't Go to the Polls Alone'

Activist Glynda Carr discusses the growing political power of black women.

Will 2018 Really Be a Big Year for Women in Politics? An Expert Weighs In.

Debbie Walsh says the wave of women elected this year is a sign of bigger things to come.

Don’t Rush New Sexual Harassment Policies, Some Women Lawmakers Warn

The Illinois legislature was one of the first in the country to confront the fallout of the #metoo movement. Lawmakers there worry that going too fast could result in faulty policies.

The Women Leading the First Study of Diversity in State and Local Government

"Most local governments are run by white men, so there hasn’t needed to be a conversation about what diversity looks like."

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.