Newsroom Archive for 03/, 2012


HSLP 2011 Alumna Congratulated by Gov. McDonnell
Mar 13 2012 - 4:42pm

High School Leaders Program 2011 alumna Dana Raphael spent her free time time during the most recent legislative session lobbying the General Assembly for the passage of HB 1063.  HB 1063 proposed allowing localities to decide the start of their school year and was based on a policy project drafted by Dana and her HSLP classmates, Aejoo Hong, Anna Carson, and Nitin Nainani.  Although HB 1063 passed the House of Delegates with a vote of 76 to 23, the most support ever garnered by a bill of this nature, it failed in the Senate Education and Health committee on March 1st with a vote of 6 to 9.   

Despite this less-than-desired outcome, Dana's hard work did not go unnoticed.  She was kind enough to share the following letter she received from Gov. Bob McDonnell recognizing her efforts.  We are very proud of Dana and her work!
"Dear Dana,
I very much appreciate your testimony and dedication in support of the passage of House Bill 1063.  As with my entire "Opportunity to Learn" K-12 legislative agenda, this legislation was aimed at a policy that puts students first.  I believe the repeal of this law would allow communities and parents to decide what is best for their students.
I have heard from several of my staff and legislators that you are an excellent speaker and an incredible young lady.  The School Start-Date initiative paper you and your colleagues wrote as part of the Sorensen Institute High School Leaders program was very helpful to my staff as they met with legislators and prepared testimony for the House Education and Senate Education and Health committees.
While the outcome of the legislation on the Senate was not favorable, I believe we made a significant step forward with the passage through the House of Delegates.  I hope that you will be encouraged by your experience and continue to actively engage in public policy and the legislative process.
Best wishes on your future success as you continue in your studies.  I know you will do great things.
Robert F. McDonnell"


Garrison to Join Virginia for Obama for America
Mar 14 2012 - 4:33pm

Garrison will begin his new position on March 26. The State Operation Vote Director develops and executes a metrics-based constituency mobilization and communications plan that focuses on turning out key demographic groups in support of President Obama and Democrats up and down the ticket. Working with other senior leadership, the SOVD will develop and manage programs aimed at increasing the vote for core demographic groups. There will be a heavy emphasis on field mobilization efforts. All mobilization programs will be executed by Field staff, in coordination with Operation Vote Directors. Other responsibilities potentially include but not limited to: representing Our Movement or The President’s Grassroots Organization at community events and meetings, speaking on the record with press in consultation with the OFA Communications Director, and serving as an in-state contact person for local campaigns, allied organizations, and community leaders.

Congratulations, Bishop!


Jones Joins Jim Moran's Office
Mar 22 2012 - 12:19pm
Rhode Appointed Commissioner of ABC Board
Mar 29 2012 - 1:53pm

Bryan Rhode (PLP 2008, CTP 2009) was recently appointed as Commissioner of the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board.  Rhode previously served as an Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney for the City of Richmond where he has prosecuted thousands of cases ranging from drug distribution to murder.  He is a member of the office’s narcotics distribution team, was the Community Assisted Public Safety Program liaison and headed the office’s asset forfeiture program.  He began his public service as a Marine Corps infantry officer where he deployed overseas twice and was both a platoon and company commander.  

Congratulations, Bryan!

Aulgur Promoted to Deputy Secretary of Commonwealth
Mar 29 2012 - 4:56pm

Jennifer Aulgur (PLP 2012) was appointed to serve as Deputy Secretary of the Commonwealth.  Aulgur served as Director of Gubernatorial Appointments in the Office of the Secretary of the  Commonwealth since March 2010, overseeing approximately 2,000 appointments to boards and commissions.  Prior to her appointment in the Governor’s Office, she served seven years in the Office of the Attorney General as Director of Triad and Citizen Outreach and as Director of the Victim Notification Program.  Aulgur has also worked for former Lieutenant Governor John Hager and in the government relations field. She is a graduate of Virginia Tech, the Virginia Executive Institute, and is a member of the Sorensen Institute of Political Leadership Class of 2012 at the University of Virginia. Originally from Colonial Heights, she currently resides in Harrisonburg. 

Congratulations, Jenni!

Featured Alumni

  • Craig Fifer.jpg

    Craig Fifer

    Political Leaders Program

    Class of 2003

    Craig is the E-Government Manager for the City of Alexandria. At our 2006 Alumni Reunion, Craig was presented the annual Service to Sorensen Award for the generous donations of his time, talents, and efforts to the work of the Sorensen Institute.