Communications & Public Affairs
July 17, 2019

Contact: State Rep. Jason Dunnington
Phone: (405) 557-7396

Dunnington Selected for Prestigious Aspen Institute Fellowship

OKLAHOMA CITY – State Representative Jason Dunnington [D-Oklahoma City] was chosen to participate in the Aspen Institute’s 2019 Rodel Fellowship, a prestigious program that has previously included the likes of Democratic presidential hopefuls Senator Kamala Harris and Mayor Pete Buttigieg.

The Aspen Institute-Rodel Fellowship in Public Leadership program seeks to enhance our democracy by identifying and bringing together the nation’s most promising young political leaders to explore, 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.

Dunnington is one of 24 elected political figures identified by the program’s leadership as America’s emerging political leaders with reputations for intellect, thoughtfulness, and a commitment to civil dialogue. More than 500 nominations are made each year. The two-year program, which is open to politicians between the ages of 25 and 50, consists of three weekend-long seminars, generally held in Aspen, Colorado.

“We’re thrilled to have Representative Dunnington as part of our program,” former Oklahoma Congressman Mickey Edwards, the fellowship’s director, said Tuesday. “Jason has a great reputation for thoughtful leadership and a willingness to put problem solving ahead of partisanship, which is central to our goal of making government more responsive and effective.”

While the participants in this program are all elected, and therefore political leaders, the Rodel Fellowship is not a political program but an educational and leadership training program based on the belief that by exposing participants to a variety of philosophies, viewpoints, and strategies, we will improve the quality of problem-solving not only within all levels of government, but our communities as well.

“I am incredibly honored to be selected for this leadership program, and to have the opportunity to enhance our democracy through in-depth conversation and thoughtful study,” said Dunnington. “I look forward to learning from my colleagues so that I may continue to best serve the constituents of House District 88 and all citizens of Oklahoma.”

Past Rodel fellows include former candidate for Georgia governor, Stacey Abrams, and former U.S. Representative Gabby Giffords. Additionally, Oklahoma has had a number of highly regarded fellows as well: Oklahoma City Mayor David Holt, former Speakers of the House TW Shannon and Jeff Hickman and former Senate Minority Leader and President of Southeastern Oklahoma State University Sean Burrage.

“Aspen Rodel is an amazing program that brings leaders even closer to true statesmanship,” Holt said. “In addition to many national political figures who are Rodel alums, the program has had strong Oklahoma participation through the years, in no small thanks to former OKC Congressman Mickey Edwards, the founding director. Congratulations to Jason!”

The class of 2019 includes:

Beth Bernstein, South Carolina State Representative
London Breed, Mayor of San Francisco
Chris Carr, Georgia Attorney General
Melvin Carter, Mayor of St. Paul, Minnesota
Brian Egolf, Speaker of the New Mexico House of Representatives
Jason Dunnington, Oklahoma State Representative
Peggy Flanagan, Minnesota Lieutenant Governor
Steven Fulop, Mayor of Jersey City
Kate Gallego, Mayor of Phoenix
Jennifer Staubach Gates, Dallas City Council member
Sarah Godlewski, Wisconsin State Treasurer
Adam Gregg, Iowa Lieutenant Governor
Cyrus Habib, Washington Lieutenant Governor
Glenn Hegar, Texas State Comptroller
Michael Hough, Maryland State Senator
Tanner Magee, Louisiana State Representative
David Meade, Speaker Pro Tem, Kentucky House of Representatives
John Murante, Nebraska State Treasurer
Jeanette Nuñez, Florida Lieutenant Governor
Alex Padilla, California Secretary of State
Robert Sprague, Ohio State Treasurer
Francis Suarez, Mayor of Miami
Jill Tolles, Nevada Assemblywoman
Jeff Yarbro, Minority Leader of the Tennessee State Senate