The Aspen Institute Selects 24 “Rising Stars” in Governance for its Rodel Fellowships in Public Leadership Program

July 29, 2009

Contact: Mickey Edwards, Director
Aspen Institute-Rodel Fellowships in Public Leadership
(202) 736-5823

Washington, DC, July 29, 2009 – The Aspen Institute has selected 24 American political leaders for its Rodel fellowship program.  The new members of the Fellowship, comprising the program’s fifth annual class, come from 22 states and include statewide officeholders as well as state legislators and local government officials.  The program is a two-year fellowship designed to break down partisan barriers and to enable officeholders to step back from their daily responsibilities to consider broader questions of good governance.

Members of the new class are:

Kirk Adams, speaker of the Arizona House of Representatives; New Hampshire Attorney General Kelly Ayotte*; Oregon Secretary of State Kate Brown; Jennifer Carroll, the majority whip of the Florida House of Representatives; North Carolina State Treasurer Janet Cowell; King County (Washington) councilman Reagan Dunn; California State Assemblyman Kevin DeLeon; and
Kevin Elsenheimer, minority leader of the Michigan House of Representatives.

Also, Mike Flood, speaker of the Nebraska legislature; Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster; Fiona Ma, the majority whip of the California State Assembly; Nevada Secretary of State
Ross Miller; Vermont State Representative Sue Minter, and Josh Penry*, minority leader of the Colorado Senate.

And Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, president of the Baltimore City Council; Steve Simon, the assistant majority leader of the Minnesota House of Representatives; Missouri state represen-tative Rachel Storch; Joe Straus, the speaker of the Texas House of Representatives; David Tandy, president of the Louisville (Kentucky) City Council; West Virginia Secretary of State Natalie Tennant, and Jim Tucker, speaker of the Louisiana House of Representatives. 

Also, Wisconsin Attorney General J. B. Van Hollen; Ohio state senator Mark Wagoner*, and Jamie Woodson, speaker pro-tem of the Tennessee Senate.

The class was announced in Washington, D.C., by the program’s director, former Congressman
Mickey Edwards.  For additional information concerning the Aspen Institute-Rodel Fellowships
in Public Leadership, please contact Mickey Edwards at 202/736-5823 or by email at  More information on Rodel Fellows and the program can
be found at

* Did not actually become a Rodel Fellow.


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