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MANCHESTER — State Rep. Kathleen James has been chosen to take part in the 2022 Emerging Legislative Leaders Program, sponsored by the State Legislative Leaders Foundation and held at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business.

James, a Manchester Democrat representing the Bennington-4 district and an assistant majority leader in the House Democratic Caucus, is one of 50 state legislators chosen from a nationwide pool of nearly 200 nominees.

The program will be held later this summer.

“I knew it was competitive but didn’t know until I saw the press release that it was that competitive. I’m excited to go,” James said. She said she was “thrilled” to have been nominated by Speaker Jill Krowinski for the program.

“It’s bipartisan and it’s really focused on leadership skills and consensus building. That’s the kind of work we do every day in the Statehouse — trying to find consensus across party lines,” she said.

James serves as clerk of the House Education Committee, and was part of a blue ribbon panel charged with reinventing the Vermont State Colleges System. She is a Vermont delegate to the New England Board of Higher Education.

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Candidates for the program, held on the University of Virginia campus in Charlottesville, are nominated by their respective state House Speaker, Senate President or minority leader. Expenses are paid by the program, James said.

Legislative leaders are asked to nominate one or more members who, by their actions, have demonstrated qualities associated with leadership, such as integrity, compassion, intelligence, vision and common sense.

Class discussions led by Darden School of Business professors will examine qualities and characteristics of leadership, including ethical leadership, the art of compromise and coalition building, and the philosophical underpinnings of representative democracy.

“These legislators represent the best in our legislative institutions,” Stephen G. Lakis, the organization’s president, said in an announcement. “Spending time with these up-and-coming leaders renews my confidence in our country’s great democratic experiment.”

State Legislative Leaders Foundation is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to professional development for current and future state legislative leaders.

Reach Greg Sukiennik at gsukiennik@manchesterjournal.com or at 802-447-7567, ext. 119.


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