The Council of State Governments has announced that Rep. Matt Simpson, R-Daphne, has been selected to participate in the 2023 CSG Henry Toll Fellowship.
The program brings together 47 individuals representing 29 states and U.S. territories from all branches of state government, for an intensive five-day, “leadership boot camp.”
The Henry Toll Fellowship is the nation’s premier leadership development program for state government officials.
“I am honored to be selected for this opportunity,” Rep. Simpson said. “I embrace the challenge to grow as a leader and work with other government officials to collaborate, communicate and build relationships across levels of government and party lines.”
Rep. Simpson has been a member of the Alabama House since 2018. Born and raised in Mobile, Rep. Simpson graduated from Murphy High School and went on to earn degrees from the University of Alabama and Cumberland School of Law.
Before being elected to the legislature, Rep. Simpson worked to protect and find justice for child victims in Baldwin County. As the child victims’ prosecutor for the fastest growing county in Alabama, Rep. Simpson handled all cases where children were the victims of sexual and/or physical abuse. He spent more than 12 years as a career prosecutor in both the Baldwin County District Attorney’s Office and the Mobile County District Attorney’s Office.
Now, as a representative in Montgomery, he has brought his passion for helping to keep Alabama’s children safe into his legislative work.
During the 2023 session Rep. Simpson spearheaded the effort to impose mandatory prison time for fentanyl dealers. He also worked to extend domestic violence protection to grandparents and grandchildren.
Both bills received overwhelming support on both sides of the aisle and were passed unanimously.
Simpson has served on the Alabama Republican Party State Executive Committee and is the current ALGOP Vice-Chairman for Congressional District 1. He is currently the chairman of the Baldwin County Legislative Delegation, chairman of ALGOP Congressional District 1 and chairman of the Ethics and Campaign Finance Committee.
Since 1986, CSG has annually convened a new class of CSG Henry Toll Fellows at its national headquarters in Lexington, Kentucky, for an intensive leadership boot camp. The program’s sessions are designed to stimulate personal assessment and growth, empower leaders to collaborate and communicate more effectively, and provide nonpartisan networking and relationship-building opportunities.
“While the CSG Henry Toll Fellows come from every region of our nation, from both political parties and all three branches of state government, they share one thing in common— they are all people of purpose with a passion for public service,” said CSG Executive Director/CEO David Adkins, a former Kansas state senator and 1993 CSG Henry Toll Fellow alumnus. “Toll Fellows are selected based on their demonstrated commitment to solve problems, to work collaboratively to get things done, and their belief that state government can and must be a force for good.”
Toll Fellows are nominated by their peers and selected by alumni of the program.
“The selection committee looks for leaders who have already demonstrated excellence in public service but who also show promise for continuing to make a difference in the future,” Adkins said.
The Fellowship honors the founder of CSG, Henry Toll, who, as a former state senator from Colorado, was the driving force behind the creation of CSG in 1933.
“Each class of Toll Fellows has a different energy, and we are excited to see this year’s dynamic,” said Lorna Patches, deputy director of membership and leadership development at CSG. “Everyone in this group is a leader in their home state, which provides a tremendous opportunity for attendees to learn and grow through interaction with each other. The CSG experience provides a framework for shared conversations, which begin with our time together and extend for lifetimes.”
There are more than 1,350 graduates of the Toll Fellowship, including five state/territorial house speakers, three sitting state supreme court justices, 10 sitting members of Congress, five sitting governors and more than 200 Toll alumni currently serving as state/territorial legislators.