State Sen. Joe Fain, R-Auburn, and King County Councilmember Rod Dembowski were named on Wednesday to the newest class of the Aspen Institute Rodel Fellowship.
The nationally-selected group of 24 elected officials will participate in the two-year fellowship designed to bring together lawmakers who have demonstrated an outstanding ability to work responsibly across partisan divisions and bring greater civility to public discourse, according to the Aspen Institute.
“We’re elected to address the priorities of our entire community, not a political party or specific ideology,” said Fain, who represents South King County in the Legislature and serves as Senate Majority Floor Leader. “I look forward to studying how to more effectively deliver solutions for our region, while sharing with and learning from the experiences of other elected officials from throughout the country.”
The Aspen Institute-Rodel Fellowships in Public Leadership program seeks to enhance democracy by identifying and bringing together the nation’s most promising young political leaders. During the term they are tasked with exploring, through study and conversation, the underlying values and principles of western democracy, the relationship between individuals and their community and the responsibilities of public leadership.
“Advancing firmly held values and policy priorities isn’t always a zero sum game of winners and losers. Taking the best ideas – whether Democratic or Republican, or both, is something President Kennedy encouraged leaders to do for the benefit of our country,” said Dembowski, who serves as vice chair of the King County Council, chair of the Board of Health, and represents the communities of Bothell, Kenmore, Kirkland, Lake Forest Park, North Seattle, Shoreline and Woodinville. “I’m honored to have been selected to learn from other leaders around the country and to think more about how, working together, we can better deliver on the American promise of opportunity for everyone.”
The Aspen Institute-Rodel Fellowships in Public Leadership is a nongovernmental, nonpartisan educational program for men and women under age 50, holding elective office at the state, local or federal level.
Rodel Fellows are selected following a yearlong nomination and review process with the program open by invitation only. Each class consists of 24 fellows, identified by the program’s leadership as America’s emerging political leaders with reputations for intellect, thoughtfulness and a commitment to civil dialogue. The complete list of participants selected for the class of 2016 can be found here. More information on the Aspen Institute Rodel Fellowship is available here.
Prior Rodel Fellows from Washington state include Attorney General Bob Ferguson, former Attorney General Rob McKenna, former Seattle City Councilmember Sally Clark, and State Senator Andy Hill of Redmond.