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Rep. Kent Smith awarded fellowship for Midwestern leadership institute

May 18, 2017
Kent Smith News

State Rep. Kent Smith (D-Euclid) announced today that he was among 37 select lawmakers chosen to participate in a training program that annually identifies and assists promising state leaders in the Midwest. The Euclid lawmaker was one of three Ohio legislators selected for the fellowship. 

Rep. Smith will meet with fellow lawmakers from Ohio and 10 other Midwestern states and four Canadian provinces on August 11-15 in Minneapolis, Minn., for The Council of State Governments’ 23rd annual Bowhay Institute for Legislative Leadership Development (BILLD). 

“I am honored to be chosen to be a part of the 2017 Bowhay Institute for Legislative Leadership Development class,” said Smith. “My hope is that being a part of 2017 BILLD class will allow me to better serve the residents of the 8th House District and the citizens of Ohio.” 

Since 1995, more than 750 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 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. “The legislatures in the region have benefited greatly from the skills their members have gained through this unique educational experience. Many of the graduates now hold leadership positions in their state.” 

BILLD was founded in 1995 to help new legislators meet the demands of increased policy responsibility being shifted to the states and, in many states, term limits. These two emerging forces highlight the shortage of training available for legislators –- a void that BILLD aims to fill. 

A program of The Council of State Governments’ Midwestern Office, the 2017 BILLD program will be held in partnership with the Center for the Study of Governance and Politics at the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs. Courses and seminars are conducted by Humphrey faculty, Midwestern legislative leaders and professional development experts. In addition to courses designed to develop leadership skills, the program analyzes a variety of public policy issues, including the economy, health care and transportation policy.

The Bowhay Institute for Legislative Leadership Development 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, Ky., 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.