State and Regional Boards

Jensen Appointed to Redistricting Commission
Jan 14 2011 - 11:56am

In a statement this week, Gov. McDonnell appointed Jean Jensen (PLP 1996), member of the Sorensen Institute State Advisory Board, to the new Independent Bipartisan Advisory Commission on Redistricting.

Jean served as Deputy, then Secretary of the State Board of Elections from 2001 to 2007, appointed by Governors Mark Warner and Tim Kaine. During her time of service, she had the unique opportunity to initiate the implementation of the mandates of the federal Help America Vote Act that allocated $60 million to improve the electoral process in Virginia.

The Independent Bipartisan Advisory Commission on Redistricting "will create and review proposed redistricting plans for the Virginia House of Delegates, Senate of Virginia, and Congressional districts. The Commission will then recommend plans that meet the required criteria to the General Assembly."  

Gov. McDonnell has also appointed Sean O'Brien, Executive Director of the Center for the Constitution at James Madison's Montpelier and former Executive Director of the Sorensen Institute.

Dr. Quentin Kidd of Christopher Newport University, longtime faculty member for Sorensen's Youth Programs, will be among those supporting the Commission's work in an advisory capacity.

McDonnell Appoints Chris Peace to VFH Board
Dec 9 2010 - 2:26pm

In a statement released this weekend, Governor McDonnell appointed Delegate Chris Peace (PLP 2004), member of the Sorensen Institute State Advisory Board, to the board of the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities (VFH) at U.Va.

Chris has represented the 97th House District since 2006 and serves on the prominent Courts of Justice, Health Welfare and Institutions, General Laws, and Finance Committees. The district spans parts of Hanover, Caroline, King William, King and Queen, Henrico, Spotsylvania Counties and all of New Kent County. Chris was the recipient of Sorensen's 2008 “Expression of Ideals” award, recognizing the alumnus who has, in the past year, best represented the ideals at the heart of the Sorensen mission: a spirit of ethics, bipartisanship, and civic engagement.

The Virginia Foundation for the Humanities supports research, education, and programs in the humanities to assist individuals and communities to understand the past and its influence, to question and resolve issues in the present, and to shape a future committed to the common good. Since its founding in 1974, VFH has sponsored more than 40,000 humanities programs serving communities large and small in every region of the Commonwealth.

McClellan Welcomes Baby Boy
Aug 12 2010 - 11:47am

Jennifer McClellan (PLP 2001; CTP 2005) and David Mills welcomed Jackson McClellan Mills this week. Jack arrived at 5:19 p.m. on August 9, weighing in at 7 lbs., 6 oz.  Mom, Dad, and Jack are back home and doing well. Congratulations, Jenn and Dave!

Gregory and Rhode Named Co-Chairs of Richmond Regional Board
Aug 9 2010 - 2:21pm

Eric Gregory (PLP 2007) and Bryan Rhode (PLP 2008, CTP Winter 2009) have been named the new co-chairs of the Richmond Regional Board.

In a recent statement to alumni and board members, Executive Director Bob Gibson said, "I am delighted to report that Richmond Regional Board members Eric Gregory and Bryan Rhode have agreed to co-chair their regional board. The previous chair, Delegate Chris Peace (PLP 2004), left the regional board this spring upon his election to Sorensen's Statewide Advisory Board.

"Eric and Bryan have given much of their time, talents and resources to be active members and leaders in the Sorensen alumni family. We look forward to their leadership of the regional board as we enter the busy fall recruiting season for the next year's Political Leaders Program and Candidate Training Program classes. 
Thanks to both for stepping up."

"Dancing Across the Aisle"
Apr 27 2010 - 11:15am

As lawmakers in Washington begin work on reforming the financial regulations for Wall Street, Virginia Senator Mark Warner and Tennessee Senator Bob Corker are setting a strong example of bipartisan cooperation that may provide the key to a successful legislative package. A recent article for Businessweek titled "Dancing Across the Aisle" reads in part:

"Warner and Corker, both members of the Senate Banking Committee, are working across party lines on a compromise on one crucial aspect of the effort to strengthen the federal government's ability to stave off another Wall Street crisis. Their collaboration contrasts with congressional acrimony on health care and other topics. "The word from the Republican leadership is for the most part: Don't cooperate on Obama's agenda," says Thomas Mann, a political analyst at the Brookings Institution. The Banking panel "is the only place in the entire Congress where Democrats and Republicans are actually talking together."

Click here to read the full article.

Click here to watch Senator Warner, a founding Board member of the Sorensen Institute, call for bipartisan cooperation in the U.S. Senate.

Gov. Elect McDonnell Appoints Zajur Senior Advisor
Nov 25 2009 - 11:21am


Governor-Elect Bob McDonnell has appointed State Advisory Board member Michel Zajur as a Senior Advisor on his gubernatorial transition team.

Michel is the founder and President/CEO of the Virginia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

PODCAST: WVTF Promotes Sorensen
Oct 19 2009 - 2:13pm


Public radio station WVTF, which broadcasts throughout southwest, southside and central Virginia, aired this story about the Sorensen Institute this morning. Interviews included Chris Fairchild (PLP 08), Mike Farruggio (PLP 06), and Regional Board member Kelli Palmer.

Hurt Talks About his Candidacy for Congress
Oct 13 2009 - 10:40am

Robert Hurt (PLP 2000) was a guest on Charlottesville radio yesterday afternoon to discuss his recently announced candidacy for the Republican nomination for U.S. Congress to run against incumbent Tom Perriello in the November 2010 election. Click here for the podcast.

Hurt Announces Bid for U.S. Congress
Oct 8 2009 - 9:38am



Virginia Senator Robert Hurt, a member of the Sorensen Institute's State Advisory Board and a graduate of our Political Leaders Program Class of 2000, has announced his candidacy for the United States Congress. Click here for news links.

The full text of the announcement, released yesterday morning October 7, reads as follows:

Chatham, Virginia – This morning Senator Robert Hurt (R-Pittsylvania) submitted the necessary filings to the Federal Election Commission to seek election to the United States Congress from the Fifth District.  Senator Hurt stated: “Today I have filed the paperwork with the Federal Election Commission necessary to seek the Republican nomination for election to the United States Congress from the Fifth District.
     Over the last few months, I have met with many residents and Republican leaders across the Fifth District.  I have come away from these meetings struck by the urgent sense among our people that if the current course of this great country is not quickly changed, we will soon be left with a nation of more government, more taxes, fewer jobs, and even fewer liberties.
     As a conservative who has represented a significant portion of the Fifth District for the past eight years, I believe that now, more than ever, our district requires a proven conservative leader to serve as its voice in Washington.  As I have during my time in Richmond, I will fight to promote small businesses and new jobs, I will fight against the runaway taxing and spending in Washington, and I will always be a strong voice for our common sense conservative Virginia values.
     Because of the enormity of this task, I have concluded that we must file the paperwork now.  However, I will delay any formal announcement of my candidacy until after we have completed the important work now before us: the election of Bob McDonnell, Bill Bolling, and Ken Cuccinelli in November – the Republican team that will bring renewed conservative leadership to Richmond.”


Featured Alumni

  • Doug Smith.jpg

    Doug Smith

    Political Leaders Program

    Class of 2005

    Doug serves as the Executive Director of the Center for the Constitution at James Madison's Montpelier. He is the former Executive Director the Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy, based in Richmond.