Contact: Jen Fanger
New Orleans (June 21) – Indiana Secretary of State Todd Rokita will join 23 leaders representing 20 states at the second annual meeting of the Aspen-Rodel Fellowship in Public Leadership from June 21 – 25 in New Orleans.
Rokita was selected in 2006 to participate in the bipartisan program developed for young political leaders and elected officials. Sponsored by the Aspen Institute, the series gathers officials from various levels of public service throughout the United States to explore their roles in government and to discuss principles and values in American democracy. The topic of discussion for this conference is "Democracy, Community and the Individual."
"The Fellowship provides a unique opportunity to engage in bipartisan discussion and debate about the role individual citizens play in maintaining our democracy," said Rokita. "As my office works to continue making significant improvements to Indiana's election process and to further engage Hoosiers in participating on Election Day, this topic is of great interest, and I look forward to the exchange of ideas."
The invitation-only program engages its members in three weekend-long seminars and two overseas trips over a period of two years. Rokita is the first elected official from Indiana to participate, and in the coming months will travel to China and India as part of the program.
Kentucky Secretary of State Trey Grayson, a member of the inaugural class of Aspen-Rodel fellows, noted "Secretary Rokita is exactly the kind of leader that this initiative requires – an official who puts office above partisanship and focuses on the larger goals of innovative ideas for the betterment of society."
The current class of Aspen-Rodel Fellows was selected in the fall of 2006. They met for the first time last November for a three-day discussion on values and principles of Western democracy. Each annual class is selected by more than 1,400 business, civic and political leaders, and by members of the Fellowship's 50-member advisory council. The 24-member Fellowship consists of 12 Republicans and 12 Democrats identified by the selection panel as elected officials between the ages of 25 and 45.
About the Aspen Institute
Founded in 1950, the Aspen Institute is an international non-profit organization created to promote growth in leadership and open-minded dialogue. The Institute has partnerships worldwide and organizes bipartisan discussion in the form of seminars, policy programs, conferences and leadership development initiatives. The Institute fully sponsors the Aspen-Rodel Fellowship in Public Leadership.