Bipartisan ‘rising stars’ of American political life explore democratic principles
Baton Rouge, La. (January 25, 2016) — Louisiana State Representative and Speaker Pro Tempore Walt Leger III spent the weekend in Aspen, Colo. as part of the Aspen Institute Rodel Fellowship in Public Leadership. The program, titled “Political Leadership and the Principles of Western Democracy,” included four days of sessions on political theory.
Rep. Leger is a member of the 2016 class of Rodel Fellows, a highly selective public leadership program designed to bring together the top young ‘rising stars’ of American political life in a program that fosters bipartisanship, political civility, and opportunities for reflection on the great values of western democracy. The selection process singles out leaders who have established reputations for intelligence, thoughtfulness, and a willingness to reach across partisan divisions in carrying out their public responsibilities.
The Rodel Fellowship program is open by invitation only, to men and women who hold a publicly elected office. Selected annually, each class will consist of 24 Fellows, 12 Republicans and 12 Democrats, identified by the Aspen Institute as America’s most promising new public leaders. The two year program consists of at least two weekend-long seminars held at the Aspen Institute’s facilities, and one additional seminar will be held in New Orleans towards the end of 2016.
The program is led by Mickey Edwards who spent 16 years in Congress as a member of the House Republican leadership, and then taught at Harvard’s Kennedy School for 11 years. Mickey is passionate about our form of democratic government, recognizing that its vitality depends on civil dialogue between competing points of view.
In addition to Speaker Pro Tempore Leger, the new Rodel class includes New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas, Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush, Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes, Rhode Island Secretary of State Nellie Gorbea, Illinois Lieutenant Governor Evelyn Sanguinetti, Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner, and Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf among others.