Ahwatukee state Sen. Sean Bowie has been selected to attend two leadership programs this summer — including one that hasn’t seen an Arizonan in four years.
Bowie will be attending the Council of State Governments’ Henry Toll Fellowship Program and the State Legislative Leaders Foundation’s Emerging Legislative Leaders Program.
Bowie is the first Arizonan chosen for the Toll Fellowship since 2015.
“Session may be over but that doesn’t mean I’m done working for my district,” Bowie said.
“I hope to learn from both experts and my fellow classmates how to better serve my constituents and bring back ideas to make my district and Arizona an even better place to live, learn and work,” he added.
Founded in 1933 by Henry Wolcott Toll, the Council of State Governments is a nonpartisan organization that trains leaders in all three branches of state governments.
The fellowship brings 48 of the nation’s top state officials for a five-day “leadership boot camp,” warning participants “there will be no down time.”
Its website describes the sessions as ones that “stimulate personal assessment and growth, while providing priceless networking and relationship-building opportunities.”
Advising participants it is “not a traditional professional development/policy program,” the Toll Fellowship organizers say the boot camp “challenges participants to move out of their comfort zones and take an introspective look at how they view themselves as leaders.”
The other program is run by the 47-year-old nonpartisan State Legislative Leaders Foundation, which it says is “dedicated to the professional development of all senate presidents, speakers of the house, majority leaders, minority leaders and leaders pro tempore.”
Its programs are all focused on either strengthening leadership skills or examining critical public policy issues.
“The Emerging Legislative Leaders Program is designed specifically for the next generation of leaders in state legislatures,” the foundation states, adding that the program Bowie is attending will be on the campus of the University of Virginia and taught by faculty from its Darden School of Business.
The five-day program, since 2005, has trained over 600 legislators “and a significant number have continued their careers in public service,” the foundation says, noting “many have achieved positions of leadership in their states.”
The foundation and the Darden school said the program’s aim is “to broaden the perspectives of these men and women, instilling in them a clear understanding of their responsibilities as custodians of the public’s trust and seeking to inspire them to meet the challenges of the future with confidence and vigor.”