Forty-eight state leaders throughout the country were selected to partake in The Council of State Governments’ 2018 Henry Toll Fellowship, and among those leaders chosen was Alabama state Rep. Margie Wilcox, R – Mobile. The Fellowship is the nation’s top leadership development program for state government officials.
Of the 48 state leaders selected by program alumni, this Class of 2018 will have leaders from 32 states and Guam included, representing all three branches of state government.
“The Fellowship is an extraordinary opportunity to grow and develop as a legislator,” Wilcox said. “In turn, I hope to use what I learn for the benefit of Alabama.”
Named for the CSG founder, Henry Walcott Toll, the Toll Fellowship convenes the state leaders for a six-day, five-night intensive, intellectual boot camp. This program has taken place for over 30 years in Lexington, Kentucky.
The program’s agenda includes a lineup of dynamic sessions designed to stimulate personal assessment and growth, while providing networking and relationship-building opportunities. Each program is uniquely designed each year, but previous programs have included sessions on leadership personality assessment, media training, crisis management, appreciative inquiry and adaptive leadership.
“The CSG Toll Fellows are a remarkable group of state leaders,” CSG Executive Director/CEO David Adkins said. “We have designed the fellowship to expand their leadership capacity with a strong focus on collaboration, communication and teamwork skills. Politics today are often characterized by polarization and gridlock. Toll Fellows learn how to overcome differences to serve the common good. These dedicated public servants leave the program energized and ready to return to their states and continue to make a difference.”
Adkins was serving as a Kansas state representative when he was a 1993 Toll Fellow.
Toll Fellows alumni include Cheri Beasley, associate justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court; Oregon Gov. Kate Brown; Delaware Gov. John Carney; Idaho U.S. Attorney Bart Davis; Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey; Maine Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap; Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett; former Delaware Gov. Jack Markell; Anne McKeig, associate justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court; Arkansas Secretary of State Mark Martin; Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill; Tennessee U.S. Attorney Doug Overbey; Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate; U.S. Rep. Todd Rokita, a former Indiana secretary of state; former U.S. Labor Secretary Hilda Solis; and Rhonda Wood, associate justice of the Arkansas Supreme Court.
“I hope to learn about different approaches to common issues,” Wilcox said. “In the long run, I hope to save the state of Alabama time, money and heartache.”
This year’s 2018 Fellowship will take place on Aug. 24 – 28.
The Council of State Governments is the nation’s only organization serving all three branches of state government. CSG is a region-based forum that fosters the exchange of insights and ideas to help state officials shape public policy. This offers unparalleled regional, national and international opportunities to network, develop leaders, collaborate and create problem-solving partnerships. For more information about CSG, visit www.csg.org.