In the Arena

As 2020 comes to a close, we take a moment to reflect on the numerous books that government officials from across the nation have recommended over the past several years.
The career public servant has served a president and in the cabinets of three governors, and is not afraid of tackling big, complicated jobs that help the disenfranchised while building better communities.
Humble beginnings and a kind demeanor have made him a great public servant, including work as a city council member and college president. It also has led him to foster a deep friendship with legendary John Lewis.
Inspired by trailblazer Shirley Chisholm, New Jersey’s Lt. Gov. Sheila Oliver has become a powerful and inspirational leader in her own right and has already left a mark that will last for generations.
In a time of an extremely divided America, Bruce Bond works with his team to develop common ground and inspire others to create positive change.
She didn’t grow up dreaming of working in a position of power in a big city like Los Angeles, but her strong desire to help people and make the world a better place rerouted her into a career of public service.
Life is an unpredictable collision of people and events that set our lives' trajectory and shape who we become. In this special episode of "In The Arena," host Cathilea Robinett talks intimately of the collision of people and events that have helped define the woman she is today.
Dr. Miles Davis wants to use his platform as first Black president of Linfield college to affect systemic change. Even as COVID-19 drastically changes the face of education, Dr. Davis is determined to create the next generation of leaders.
As president and CEO of the New York YMCA, Sharon Greenberger is constantly working to make New York a healthier, happier community. Now she uses her decades of experience to transform The Y into a place of hope amid COVID-19.
Ramsey County’s commissioner has fought for change in the state for the past three decades through vigorous community engagement. She has marked history with her achievements and now watches her son do the same as mayor of St. Paul.
A former Baltimore CFO and city manager for Cincinnati, Harry Black just started as Stockton’s city manager when the pandemic began, quickly followed by national protests. But with his extensive, unique career, he is ready to help the city succeed.
John Wetzel uses decades of experience and an unyielding determination to serve Pennsylvania as the secretary of corrections. But he knows that the true value of leadership comes from data, creativity and good people.
A county and national leader, Alisha Bell has learned how to be a successful public official by following the path her mother laid down. Now she ensures that her actions will help those who will one day follow her.
Whether it’s a small county or a national stage, Mary Ann Borgeson leads Douglas County, Neb., and the National Association of Counties with compassion and the understanding of the impacts her decisions can make.
Betty Yee uses her role as California’s state controller to uplift underserved communities, encourage female participation in politics and public office and remind others that a state is only as strong as its individuals.
Whether it is a devastating hurricane or global pandemic, Serena DiMaso will be there to lend a helping hand. From the front lines and Assembly floor, DiMaso is constantly working to strengthen and uplift her community.
Clay Jenkinson, Governing’s editor-at-large and humanities scholar on Thomas Jefferson and Theodore Roosevelt, tells us how literature and history can help inform leaders in this time of global national crisis.
His passion for authentic relationships helps Bryan Barnett to excel as mayor of Rochester Hills and as president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors. Even in a time when the nation is without strategy, he continues to lead with integrity.
Ryan Coonerty has always been a part of the Santa Cruz community, from resident, to mayor and now county supervisor. Though his work is now countywide, his aim is still to create “a better place for the next generation.”
Lydia Mihalik is a fierce team leader and has a passion for improving the lives of others, two qualities that have suited her perfectly for Ohio’s public service as director of the Development Services Agency.
What started off as a wrong turn has turned into a home and career for Chris Cabaldon. Through innovation and risk, he has been able to help change West Sacramento into the thriving community it is today.
A passionate representative for women, Navajo people, and Wyomingites, Affie Ellis is a force to be reckoned with and she hopes to use her curiosity and patience to dig deeply into century-old tensions for years to come.
Caring, passionate, and having always pushed back against the status quo, Beth Niblock has used her role as Detroit Chief Information Officer to revitalize the city with technology after a tough period of bankruptcy.
Los Angeles’ mayor was raised with the understanding that public service is listening. So now he listens to his community and wants to make Los Angeles a place of opportunity for the California Dream.
From reporting on congress to building the first mobile streaming news network, small-town, North Dakotan Ed O’Keefe has extensive media experience. And as CEO of the Theodore Roosevelt Presidential Library Foundation, O’Keefe is creating an experience that preserves and shares Roosevelt’s legacy.
Blair Milo has accomplished more than most people do in a lifetime. It all stems from her passion for serving others and ensuring their success through creating opportunities.
Kirsten Baesler's passion for education and students is undeniable. With creativity and determination, she is empowering students by ensuring their voices are heard.
When helping people is your core motivation, failure is not an option.
During a time when it was rare for women to seek office, Jo Ann Davidson ran for city council in 1965. Even though she lost her first election, this was the start of a remarkable career in public service that eventually led her to the Ohio House of Representatives.
Seattle born and raised, Dow Constantine serves over 2 million people as Executive of King County.