Humphrey School News

Humphrey School to Host Leadership Training for Midwestern Legislators

July 13, 2016
MN capitol

The Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota has been selected as the new academic host of The Council of State Governments’ annual Bowhay Institute for Legislative Leadership Development (BILLD). The program helps newer legislators develop the skills necessary to become effective leaders, informed decision makers, and astute policymakers while exploring the issues of the day with nationally renowned scholars, policy experts, and legislative leaders from across the region.

“The Bowhay Institute is one of the premier leadership training programs in the nation,” said Indiana Rep. Ed Clere, who serves as co-chair of the institute’s steering committee. “A strong academic partner is critical to the program’s success. In a rigorous competition, the Humphrey School stood out with the caliber of its faculty and staff, its strong track record of partnerships and leadership programming, and its excellent reputation in the region.”

Each summer, starting in August 2017, the Humphrey School’s Center for the Study of Politics and Governance will welcome 35 lawmakers from 11 Midwestern states and four Canadian provinces to the Twin Cities for a five-day leadership program. Through programming designed by The Council of State Governments’ Midwestern Legislative Conference, this select group of lawmakers will receive training to enhance their leadership skills and will analyze some of the most significant policy issues that states face today.

“We are pleased to serve as the new host of this longstanding Midwestern leadership program,” said professor Larry Jacobs, director of the Center for the Study of Politics and Governance. “The Council of State Governments is an indispensable resource for strengthening the capacity of state lawmakers—a commitment that the Humphrey School embraces.”

Since 1995, nearly 700 lawmakers have graduated from the Bowhay Institute. State legislators from Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin are chosen to participate through a competitive, nonpartisan selection process.  Members of the Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario and Saskatchewan legislative assemblies are selected by their caucuses to take part in the program.

The Humphrey School was selected through a competitive application process against other top schools of public affairs across the Midwest. Before its move to the Humphrey School, the program has been held for 22 years at the La Follette School of Public Affairs at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

The Bowhay Institute for Legislative Leadership Development (BILLD) is the only leadership training program designed exclusively for Midwestern legislators. It is named in honor of the late James Bowhay, longtime director of The Council of State Governments’ Midwestern Office. The program is funded through grants from foundation and corporate sponsors and an in-kind contribution provided by The Council of State Governments’ Midwestern Office.

Founded in 1933, The Council of State Governments has national headquarters in Lexington, Kentucky, and regional offices in Atlanta, Chicago (Lombard, Ill.), New York City, and Sacramento. The goal of the national, nonpartisan organization is to assist and advance state government by providing research assistance, professional development opportunities, interstate consulting services, and suggested state legislation.

The Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota is ranked as one of the country’s top 10 professional public policy and planning schools. The School is long noted for equipping students to play key roles in public life at the local, state, national, and global level and offers six distinctive master’s degrees, a doctoral degree, and six certificate programs. hhh.umn.edu

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