Rodel Fellowship

The nation’s premier leadership development program for state and local elected officials. 

Rodel Fellowship

The Institute’s signature program is the Rodel Fellowship. Created in 2005, the Fellowship is the nation’s premier leadership development program for elected leaders. Each year, the program selects 24 outstanding state and local-level leaders, divided equally between the two political parties, to come together for a series of three multi-day seminars held over a two-year period. Working with leading scholars as moderators, the Fellows read and discuss classic texts dealing with ethical values, democratic principles, and wise and effective leadership. Those texts include the Declaration of Independence, the preamble to the United States Constitution, and writings by Frederick Douglass, Abraham Lincoln, and Martin Luther King, Jr., among many others.

Following completion of the Rodel Fellowship seminars, Fellows have an opportunity to gather periodically with alumni of the program to discuss critical questions of public policy and public leadership in a nonpartisan setting. Over 380 elected leaders have completed the program. These Fellows have gone on to serve as United States senators, governors, mayors, party leaders, Cabinet secretaries, members of Congress, and Vice President of the United States.

What Our People Say About Us

OUR FELLOWS

Class of 2024

Cindy Abrams

State Representative
Ohio

Dawn Buckingham

Land Commissioner
Texas

Vincent Candelora

State Representative
Connecticut

David Chiu

City Attorney of San Francisco
California

Julia Coleman

State Senator
Minnesota

Zach Conine

State Treasurer
Nevada

Sarah Godlewski

Secretary of State Wisconsin

Rene Gonzalez

Portland City Commissioner of Public Safety
Oregon

Deidre Henderson

Lieutenant Governor
Utah

Mike Hilgers

Attorney General
Nebraska

Michelle Hinchey

State Senator
New York

Michael Howe

Secretary of State
North Dakota

Richard Irvin

Mayor of Aurora
Illinois

John F. King

Insurance & Safety Fire Commissioner
Georgia

Joanna McClinton

State Representative
Pennsylvania

Mallory McMorrow

State Senator
Michigan

Natalie Murdock

State Senator
North Carolina

Kristi Racines

State Auditor
Wyoming

Steven Reed

Mayor of Montgomery
Alabama

Scott Schwab

Secretary of State
Kansas

Laura Sibilia

State Representative
Vermont

Corey Woods

Mayor of Tempe
Arizona

Title and affiliation reflect position at time of selection to the Rodel Fellowship.

All-Class Reunion

Every other year, Rodel’s All-Class Reunion brings together Rodel Fellows from all fellowship classes for substantive briefings, group discussions, and informal networking. The purpose of the All-Class Reunion is to provide a forum for discussion of major public policy challenges, offer leadership development training, decrease political polarization, and strengthen relationships among American political leaders.

Latest News

2024 Edwards Book Award Shortlist Announced

The Rodel Institute is delighted to announce the shortlist finalists for its 2024 Edwards Book Award. The Edwards Book Award is an annual prize recognizing books that make an outstanding contribution to the understanding and practice of democracy and American politics. The prize carries an honorarium of $10,000. The Rodel Institute received a large volume of excellent book nominations this year. The following nonfiction books published in 2024 were selected as shortlist finalists. This year’s six finalists offer substantive perspectives on democratic values and leadership lessons on the challenges of balancing principles and pragmatism. The winning book will be announced in September. The…

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Inaugural Federal Executive Cohort Gathers for Second Seminar

The inaugural cohort of the Rodel Federal Executive Fellowship met for the second time in April in Charlottesville, Virginia. Twenty-three senior civil servants in the federal government gathered to discuss technological innovation in the public sector, the changing geopolitical landscape, and the evolving relationship between civil servants and political leaders. Fellows engaged in deep and meaningful discussions throughout the weekend. Jennifer Pahlka, Founder and former Executive Director of Code for America and author of Recoding America: Why Government Is Failing in the Digital Age and How We Can Do Better, guided the Fellows in a conversation on strategies for innovation in the face of bureaucratic obstacles. Richard Fontaine, Chief Executive Officer of…

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Rodel Judicial Class of 2023 Meets for Second Seminar

The 2023 Rodel Judicial Fellowship held its second seminar this month in San Juan, Puerto Rico at the Hotel Condado Vanderbilt. Seventeen federal judges and supreme court justices from across the country gathered to discuss the role of judges in American democracy, constitutional interpretation, and leadership on and off of the bench. This weekend, like every Rodel seminar, was anchored by 100-120 pages of intense scholarly reading. Vibrant discussions on canons of statutory and constitutional interpretation were led by professors Alexandra Lahav of Cornell Law School and Benjamin Eidelson of Harvard Law School. Kaye Monk-Morgan, CEO of the Kansas Leadership…

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