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


Class of 2024

Cindy Abrams

State Representative

Dawn Buckingham

Land Commissioner

Vincent Candelora

State Representative

David Chiu

City Attorney of San Francisco

Julia Coleman

State Senator

Zach Conine

State Treasurer

Sarah Godlewski

Secretary of State Wisconsin

Rene Gonzalez

Portland City Commissioner of Public Safety

Deidre Henderson

Lieutenant Governor

Mike Hilgers

Attorney General

Michelle Hinchey

State Senator
New York

Michael Howe

Secretary of State
North Dakota

Richard Irvin

Mayor of Aurora

John F. King

Insurance & Safety Fire Commissioner

Joanna McClinton

State Representative

Mallory McMorrow

State Senator

Natalie Murdock

State Senator
North Carolina

Kristi Racines

State Auditor

Steven Reed

Mayor of Montgomery

Scott Schwab

Secretary of State

Laura Sibilia

State Representative

Corey Woods

Mayor of Tempe

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 Longlist Announced

The Rodel Institute is delighted to announce the longlist 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 winning book is chosen by a committee that includes past Rodel Fellows, external academic advisors, and Rodel Institute staff. This year’s award committee is comprised of Rodel Felllows Larry Obhof (former OH Senate President), Mike Signer (former Charlottesville, VA Mayor), Miguel Solis (former Dallas School Board Member), and Jamie Woodson (former TN State…

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Rodel Fellowship 2023 Reunion

More than 100 Rodel Fellows, representing 39 states plus Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico, gathered in Washington, D.C. in October 2023 for a weekend of workshops, group discussions, plenary sessions, and informal networking. The weekend kicked off with the presentation of Rodel’s inaugural Edwards Book Award to Dr. Francis Fukuyama for his 2022 book Liberalism and Its Discontents published by Farrar, Straus, and Giroux. Lizzy McCourt Noonan, the executive director of Rodel’s Edwards Book Award, moderated a conversation with Dr. Fukuyama about liberal democracy, classical liberalism, and growing authoritarianism around the globe. The next morning began with breakout discussions on…

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Liberalism and Its Discontents by Francis Fukuyama Wins Inaugural Edwards Book Award

The Rodel Institute is pleased to announce that Francis Fukuyama’s book Liberalism and Its Discontents has won the inaugural Edwards Book Award. The prize was conferred on October 13, 2023 at the Rodel Institute’s Fellowship Reunion in Washington, D.C., where Dr. Fukuyama gave the keynote address to 140 Rodel Fellows and guests. The Edwards Book Award is given annually to a book that contributes to the understanding and practice of democracy and American politics. Published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux in 2022, Liberalism and Its Discontents offers a compelling defense of classical liberalism and liberal democracy in the face of growing authoritarianism around the globe. Over the past…

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