40 SELECTED FOR 2023 EDGAR FELLOWS PROGRAM
URBANA, IL — In a highly competitive process, forty public policy leaders from across Illinois have been selected for the 2023 class of the Edgar Fellows Program. The group will meet for the first time at their Executive Leadership Training Program held August 6 through 10 on the University of Illinois (U of I) campus in Urbana-Champaign.
Started in 2012 and housed at the U of I System’s Institute of Government and Public Affairs, the Edgar Fellows Program is an initiative designed by former Illinois Governor Jim Edgar to inspire respectful and collaborative leadership to address the state’s major challenges. The Fellows selected for the class of 2023 were chosen from a field of nearly 210 nominees and reflect Illinois’ political, racial, ethnic and geographic diversity. They include elected and appointed officials from all levels of government; leaders of non-profit and labor organizations; and individuals who are influencing public policy in the business world.
“Each year, the Edgar Fellows Program brings together a group of leaders, with different backgrounds and different politics, from across Illinois,” Gov. Jim Edgar said. “They share and learn from those different life experiences, but they also find out that they have more in common than they might realize.
“With each class, it has been gratifying to watch people who were strangers on Sunday become good friends by Thursday. It’s what the Edgar Fellows program is all about, finding common ground and respect, so that our fellows can work together to help shape a better Illinois.”
During their time in Champaign, the new Fellows will engage with more than 30 experienced public policy practitioners who are experts in issues that include economic development, climate change, supply chain, education, Medicaid, transportation, communications between the courts and intergovernmental cooperation. More importantly, they will learn from each other and begin building relationships which will last throughout their careers.
The 2023 class will bring the number of Fellows who are part of the program to more than 400. After completing the initial training seminar, fellows continue to meet at alumni gatherings designed to increase their knowledge and help build their professional networks. The next time they will have this opportunity to gather is at the program’s annual fundraiser in Chicago on August 31 where David Axelrod, Founding Director of the University of Chicago’s Institute of Politics, will be the keynote speaker. This particular event is open to Fellows, their guests and the general public.
The Edgar Fellows Program is funded by donations from a diverse group of individuals, labor, philanthropies, organizations and companies interested in promoting competent, ethical and solution-oriented leadership in Illinois. An advisory board chaired by Alexander Lerner, the Chief Executive Officer of the Illinois State Medical Society, helps to guide the program. Other board members are Fellows and long-time supporters of the program who, between them, have decades of experience in Illinois public policy.
The Edgar Fellows Class of 2023 is listed below. Photos available upon request.
- Brian Burian, Homer Glen, Chief of Staff for Senate Republican Leader John Curran and Illinois Senate Republican Caucus
- Misty Buscher, Mayor of Springfield
- Senator Javier Cervantes, Chicago
- Mary Coyle Sullivan, Darien, Darien City Council Member
- Clint Drury, Edwards, Executive Director, West Central Illinois Building and Construction Trades Council
- Senator Paul Faraci, Champaign
- Representative Bradley Fritts, Dixon
- Senator Ann Gillespie, Arlington Heights
- Kristin T. Givens, Normal, Associate General Counsel, State Farm Insurance Companies
- Monica Gordon, Chicago Heights, Cook County Commissioner, District 5
- Carol Greenlee, Carterville, Associate Director, Paul Simon Public Policy Institute at Southern Illinois University – Carbondale
- Representative Angelica Guerrero-Cuellar, Chicago
- Thomas Haine, Alton, State’s Attorney of Madison County
- Senator Erica Harriss, Glen Carbon
- Representative Norma Hernandez, Melrose Park
- Ross Kwasneski, Lemont, Assistant Director of State Legislative and Political Affairs, Illinois State Medical Society
- Senator Seth Lewis, Bartlett
- Camile Lindsay, Oak Park, First Assistant Deputy Governor for Public Safety, Infrastructure, Environment and Energy
- John Mitchell, Chicago, Director of College Savings, Office of Illinois Treasurer
- Julie Moore-Wolfe, Mayor of Decatur
- Tiffany Moy, Chicago, Chief of Staff for Speaker Emanuel “Chris” Welch
- Patrick O’Brian, Farmington, Clerk and Recorder of Fulton County
- Anthony Quezada, Chicago, Cook County Commissioner, District 8
- Aimee T. Ramirez, Chicago, Manager of Policy and Advocacy, The Chicago Community Trust
- Erika Ramsey, Tilton, Auditor of Vermilion County
- Sangeetha Rayapati, Mayor of Moline
- Kristin Richards, Chicago, Director of Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity
- Nora Cay Ryan, Chicago, Chief of Staff at Chicago Federation of Labor
- Jelani Saadiq, Springfield, Director of Government Relations at Advance Illinois
- Representative Jennifer Sanalitro, Hanover Park
- Carina E. Sanchez, Chicago, Executive Director, Public Building Commission of Chicago (PBC)
- Annie Thompson, Springfield, Deputy Press Secretary, Office of Illinois Attorney General
- Representative Dennis Tipsword, Jr., Metamora
- Representative Dan Ugaste, Geneva
- Kiran Velpula, Dunlap, Peoria, Councilman At-Large
- Kimberly Walz, Chicago, Regional Director, State and Local Government Relations, Walgreens
- Scott Wehrli, Mayor of Naperville
- Ryan Whitehouse, Bloomington, Associate Director of Local Government and Political Engagement, Illinois Farm Bureau
- Desmon Yancy, Chicago, Alderman, 5th Ward
- Representative Janet Yang Rohr, Naperville