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August 3, 2012

Emerging Leaders to Study Public Policy Issues in Williamsburg

This weekend, 21 emerging Virginia leaders meet in Williamsburg for the first session of an eight-day Emerging Leaders Program that includes real-life exercises on policy formation in Virginia. This pilot program is sponsored by the Sorensen Institute at the University of Virginia and was developed in partnership with the office of Gov. Bob McDonnell.

The young leaders, all Virginians who have worked in state government, are participating in this training because of an interest in becoming more active in public service and public policy, whether as community leaders or appointed officials in the executive or legislative branches. The curriculum focuses on three core subject areas: ethics in public service, public policy and policy advocacy skills.

Participants were selected through an application and interview process open to Virginia residents between the ages of 21 and 31 with a background in state government. The 21 participants selected will work on policy in three groups in three areas of subject matter – highway safety, returning prison inmates to society and returning military veterans to the workforce. On the final weekend of the program, the group will present and defend a set of policy proposals to a panel of state legislators and academics who will critique and question the teams as they present and defend their proposals.

Speakers from Colonial Williamsburg, the administrations of the current and previous governors of Virginia, the University of Virginia, State Farm Insurance and Christopher Newport University will address the group in Williamsburg on the subjects of citizenship, ethics in politics and public service, the Revolution, cooperation in state government and team building.

Colonial Williamsburg and State Farm are major sponsors of the Emerging Leaders Program. The group meets at the University of Richmond Aug. 10 and 20 and returns to Williamsburg for the final session of the program Aug. 24, 25 and 26.

The Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership at the University of Virginia offers leadership development programs for residents of Virginia interested in becoming more active in public service, whether as community leaders or as elected officials. The program includes the study of general ethical principles as they relate to public service and seek to enhance trust, civility and respect in politics.

Established in 1926, the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation is the not-for-profit center for American history, citizenship and democracy, encouraging audiences at home and around the world to learn from the past. Colonial Williamsburg demonstrates its commitment to expanding its thought-provoking programming as well as its dedication to cultural and historical authenticity on-site and online through the preservation, restoration and presentation of 18th-centry Williamsburg and the study, interpretation and teaching of America’s founding principles. Purchase of Colonial Williamsburg products and services supports the preservation, research and educational programs of the Foundation. Philanthropic support by individuals, corporations, and foundations benefits the educational mission of The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation.

Williamsburg is located in Virginia’s Tidewater region, 20 minutes from Newport News, within an hour’s drive of Richmond and Norfolk, and 150 miles south of Washington, D.C., off Interstate 64. For more information about Colonial Williamsburg, call 1-800-HISTORY or visit Colonial Williamsburg’s website at

Media Contact:
Barbara Brown
(757) 220-7280