Aspen Institute Names Top Young Elected Officials to its Third Class of Aspen-Rodel Fellows

November 1, 2007

Contact: Mickey Edwards
Aspen Institute-Rodel Fellowships in Public Leadership
(202) 736-5823
Aspen Institute Names Top Young Elected Officials to its Third Class of Aspen-Rodel Fellows

Washington, DC, November 1, 2007––Following an eight-month search involving input from over 1,000 business, political, and civic leaders, the Aspen Institute has selected a group of the nation’s top young elected officials for a fellowship program honoring public leaders identified as “the true rising stars” of American politics.
Drawn from the ranks of federal, state, and local governments, and representing 22 states, the Class of 2007 will form the third class of the Aspen-Rodel Fellowships in Public Leadership, designed to bring together “the very best of the nation’s emerging leaders” to discuss broad issues of democratic governance and effective public service.  This class of Fellows will convene late next month for a conversation centered on the underlying values and principles of a democratic society.
Former Congressman Mickey Edwards, the program’s director, said the new fellowship class represents “the true promise of America––an outstanding group of young leaders with a clear commitment to putting aside partisan differences for the good of our nation.”  Edwards said the selection process involved finding young officials who had not only earned reputations for thoughtfulness and intelligence, but who had also been recognized for “their willingness to cross party lines and their ability to remain focused on the ideals that originally led them into public service.”
The Institute’s Rodel Fellowships in Public Leadership program brings together bipartisan groups of public officials judged to be the rising stars of American politics. The Fellows are selected after a detailed process that involves business, professional, and civic leaders, as well as an advisory committee of more than 50 leading political figures.
Congressman Edwards described the program’s goals as twofold: “in a political world in which partisanship has become increasingly negative and public decision-making has become increasingly polarized, we’re working to help a new generation of public leaders build lasting relationships across party lines, and at the same time, we’re trying to sharpen the focus of the political conversation on our common goals as members of a diverse democracy.” 
Aspen Institute President Walter Isaacson said the Rodel Fellows “represent the best hope for America’s future—upcoming leaders committed to working together for the common good.”
These are the young leaders selected as among the very best, brightest, and most promising members of America’s emerging political leadership:
Bill Baroni, New Jersey House of Representatives
Mike Bishop, Majority Leader, Michigan State Senate
Anthony Brown, Lieutenant Governor, Maryland
Susan Bysiewicz*, Secretary of State, Connecticut
Casey Cagle, Lieutenant Governor, Georgia
John Chiang, State Controller, California
Glenn Coffee, President, Pro-Tem, Oklahoma State Senate
Randall  Edwards, State Treasurer, Oregon
Bob Ferguson, King County (Washington) Council
Justine Fox-Young, New Mexico House of Representatives
Elba Garcia, Mayor Pro-Tem, Dallas (Texas)
Veronica Gonzales, Texas House of Representatives
Rachel Kaprielian, Assistant Majority Leader, Massachusetts House of Representatives
Brian Krolicki, Lieutenant Governor, Nevada
Kris Mayes, Arizona Corporation Commissioner
Dustin McDaniel, Attorney General, Arkansas
Shane Osborn, State Treasurer, Nebraska
Sean Parnell, Lieutenant Governor, Alaska
Hannah Pingree, Majority Leader, Maine House of Representatives
Kasim Reed, Georgia State Senate
Lewis Reed, President, St. Louis (Missouri) Board of Aldermen
Marco Rubio*, Speaker, Florida House of Representatives
Derek Schmidt, Majority Leader, Kansas State Senate
Lawrence Wasden, Attorney General, Idaho
For additional information concerning the Aspen Institute-Rodel Fellowships in Public Leadership, please contact the program’s assistant director, Gia Regan, at 202/736-2525 or at  In addition, more information on Rodel Fellows and the program can be found at
The Aspen Institute, founded in 1950, is an international nonprofit organization dedicated to fostering enlightened leadership and open-minded dialogue. Through seminars, policy programs, conferences, and leadership development initiatives, the Institute and its international partners seek to promote nonpartisan inquiry and an appreciation for timeless values. The Institute is headquartered in Washington, DC, and has campuses in Aspen, Colorado, and on the Wye River on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. Its international network includes partner Aspen Institutes in Berlin, Rome, Lyon, Tokyo, New Delhi, and Bucharest, and leadership programs in Africa, Central America and India.
* Did not actually become a Rodel Fellow.

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