MSU wins grant to grow political leadership programs

Posted at 10:58 AM, Sep 27, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-27 10:58:24-04

Michigan State University’s Institute of Public Policy and Social Research has won an $80,000 grant from the Madison Initiative of the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation to survey state candidate leadership programs and share the best of their recruiting, training and financing practices.

“This grant enables a comprehensive information-sharing opportunity and a full effort to develop best practices,” said Matt Grossmann, IPPSR director.

IPPSR runs the Michigan Leadership Program, in which 12 men and 12 women – equal numbers of Republicans and Democrats -- learn civil engagement, ethical governance, effective media relations, stewardship, personal leadership and evidence-based policymaking.

“We also plan to export our model, along with those of other effective state programs, to a broader range of states,” Grossmann said. “We hope to lay the groundwork for a national network of effective programs that can produce the next generation of bipartisan problem-solving legislators and members of Congress.”

Already, IPPSR has identified 351 political leadership and candidate training programs, collected and standardized the information available on their websites and contacted the 10 programs most similar to MPLP for further discussions.

The grant will allow a comprehensive inventory of the programs and a comparison of program structure, curriculum, costs and support, political emphasis, scope, history, recruiting and tracking of results across programs.

Ultimately, IPPSR would develop a package of materials to help start up successful new programs and convene a planning conference at the Hewlett Foundation. A resource-rich web site is also planned. 

The nonpartisan Madison Initiative supports leadership and relationships that strengthen Congress as an institution, improve campaign finance and electoral rules and foster bipartisan problem-solving.