9th Annual Legislative Reception, Feb. 17
Jan 15 2015 - 11:55am

You Are Invited!

The Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership
9th Annual Legislative Reception

Tuesday, Feb. 17
5 p.m. - 8 p.m.

Location Change: 27 Bistro
27 West Broad Street, Richmond

by Tuesday, Feb. 10 


This event, which has become a must-attend gathering in the Richmond political social calendar, recognizes our alumni in the Virginia General Assembly. Sorensen is proud to honor our 25 alumni currently serving in the General Assembly and statewide office.

This event is free and open to all Sorensen alumni, supporters and members of the Virginia General Assembly.

It's not too late to become a sponsor of Sorensen's Legislative Reception! To learn more, contact Colleen Smith at (434) 982‑4910 or

Sorensen wishes to thank our Event Sponsors:
Advantus Strategies
Alliance Group
Care Advantage
Cornerstone Government Affairs
Davis Consultants, Inc.
Haley Buick GMC
Kemper Consulting
Lindl Corporation
National Filter Service
The Vectre Corporation
Virginia Association of Health Plans
Williams Mullen


*Image courtesy Taber Andrew Bain.

Announcing the Candidate Training Program and Political Leaders Program Classes of 2015
Jan 7 2015 - 12:49pm

We are delighted to announce the members of our first two classes of 2015. The Candidate Training Program participants will meet at Carter Hall from January 22-25th. The Political Leaders Program participants will meet for the first time in Williamsburg on March 19-21.  Congratulations to all!

Candidate Training Program Class of 2015
Dale Agnew, Crozier
Dave Belote, Virginia Beach
Candice Bennett, Lorton
Travis Bird, Fredericksburg
Gerald Goad, Woodlawn
Charlie Grammick, Warrenton
Chris Harris, Alexandria
Ben Hudson, Palmyra
Jeannie Inge, Charlottesville
Monte Johnson, Ashburn
Maral Kalbian, Boyce
Sean Lenehan, Alexandria
Angela Lynn, Charlottesville
Kenya Savage, Chantilly
Don Shaw, Gainesville
Fernando Torrez, Alexandria
Carlos Turner, Claremont

Political Leaders Program Class of 2015
Andreas Addison, Richmond
Lashrecse Aird, Petersburg
Suja Amir, Glen Allen
David Boling, Arlington
Butch Bracknell, Virginia Beach
Lisette Carbajal, Bealeton
Lakshmi Challa, Glen Allen
Melody Clarke, Eastville
Traci DeShazor, Alexandria
Stephanie Ferrugia, Alton
Kathy Galvin, Charlottesville
Bryan Green, Richmond
Jamal Gunn, Virginia Beach
Razi Hashmi, Arlington
Kristian Havard, Richmond
Meg Heubeck, Waynesboro
Matt Homer, Shenandoah
Ann Jennings, Mattaponi
Ken Johnson, Richmond
Jim Kelly, Williamsburg
Jessica Killeen, Alexandria
Michael Kreps, Alexandria
Dawn Matheson, Chesapeake
Phil Miskovic, Crewe
Chris Monioudis, Roanoke
Jibran Muhammad, Falls Church
Mike Mullin, Newport News
Irma Palmer, Charlottesville
Debbie Pickford, Springfield
Taylor Pool, Arlington
Eric Postow, Richmond
Caroline Romano, Arlington
Samantha Sedivy, Richmond
Andrew Sinclair, Portsmouth
Andrew Smith, Beaverdam
Jerri Wilson, Franklin

Lauren Gilbert Named as Director of Programs
Dec 19 2014 - 11:42am

The Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership is delighted to announce that Lauren Gilbert will be our new Director of Programs, succeeding April Auger.

April is leaving Sorensen today after six years to become a full-time graduate student at the University of Richmond to pursue a master’s degree in nonprofit management.

“Lauren has proven herself to be an excellent Youth Program Director and has the skills and the dedication to Sorensen’s mission to lead all five of our programs in 2015 and beyond,” said Bob Gibson, Executive Director of the Sorensen Institute.

Lauren has been responsible for overseeing recruitment for and implementation of the College and High School Leaders Programs for the past several years. She is a graduate of the College Leaders Program Class of 2009 and returned to Sorensen as a Youth Program Manager in 2010. She is a native of Alexandria, Virginia, and graduated from James Madison University with a B.A. in Political Science.

"I'm excited to take on the responsibilities of the Director of Programs," Gilbert said.  "I have had the privilege of working closely with participants in our youth programs for many years, and I've seen firsthand how our programs create both strong policy ideas and lasting friendships.  I look forward to continuing the good work done by my predecessors in this role."

Legislative Reception Feb. 17 in Richmond
Dec 18 2014 - 2:22pm

Sorensen's Legislative Reception, a must-attend gathering in the Richmond political social calendar, recognizes our 25 alumni currently serving in the General Assembly and statewide office. This Feb. 17 event at Williams Mullen in Richmond begins at 5 p.m. and is free and open to all Sorensen alumni and friends.

It's not too late to join our Legislative Reception sponsors in supporting this event, which regularly draws more than 200 attendees, including members of the General Assembly, their staffers, and other leaders in Richmond. Contact Colleen Smith at 424-982-4910 or

Join us in bidding "Adieu" to April Auger
Dec 10 2014 - 11:26am

Join us in bidding "Adieu" to April Auger as she leaves The Sorensen Institute after six years with us.  April has moved to Richmond and is pursuing a masters degree in nonprofit management at the University of Richmond.  She has a great future in the world of nonprofit management and in whatever endeavors she chooses to pursue.  She'll be greatly missed as a member of the Sorensen team!

We'll be gathering one last time to spend time with April before her departure at the end of the month, and all are welcome!  April is excited to spend time catching up with alumni, board members, and friends, so join us for this fun, festive gathering at one of April's favorite places on the Charlottesville Downtown Mall.

Bid "Adieu" to April!

Wednesday, December 17th, 2014
Start time: 5:00pm

Commonwealth Restaurant & Skybar

(Upstairs Bar)
422 E Main St, Charlottesville, VA
Attire: Holiday Festive or "Come as you are!"

All are welcome!
RSVP on Facebook

Applications now being accepted for 2015 CLP and HSLP
Dec 6 2014 - 5:36pm

The Sorensen Institute is now accepting applications for the 2015 College Leaders Program and High School Leaders Program.  Applications for both programs will be accepted until midnight on Monday, March 2nd.  Information about both programs and instructions on how to apply can be found on our application page

If you know someone who would be a good addition to either class, feel free to submit their information to us using our Referrals Page and we will get in touch with the prospective applicant.  If you would like downloadable materials on any of our programs, they are available at our Sorensen Recruitment Resource Center.   Thank you for your assistance in helping us identify excellent applicants to our programs!

PHOTOS: Sorensen 2014 Autumn Gala
Nov 20 2014 - 6:52pm

Last Friday, Sorensen alumni and friends attended the 2014 Autumn Gala in Arlington. Coming on the heels of election season, this gathering of political leaders from both sides of the aisle was a reminder that our political differences do not have to divide us.

The event featured remarks from retiring Rep. Jim Moran, as well as his newly-elected successor Don Beyer and Sorensen alumni Rep. Robert Hurt and Rep. Scott Rigell.

The Sorensen Institute would like to thank all of our Autumn Gala Partners. Sorensen's programs would not be possible without their generous support.

Commonwealth Partners
Barbara J. Fried
Rolls-Royce North America

Table Hosts
Aldrich Capital Partners
David Bailey Associates
Virginia Automobile Dealers Association (VADA)

Half-Table Hosts
Cox Communications
Kaiser Permanente
State Farm

Matt Calkins
Jean Jensen
Maggie & Art Major
Shannon Valentine
Margi Vanderhye



Sorensen to host Senate candidate forum in Danville
Sep 26 2014 - 2:11pm

Sorensen is pleased to announce the next two installments of the Southern Virginia Public Leadership Series. Both events will be held at the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research in Danville, and are free and open to the public. 

Town Hall on Redistricting Reform
Wednesday, Oct. 8, 7 p.m.

Join us for an exciting discussion on redistricting reform in the Commonwealth. Panelists include former delegate Shannon Valentine, former state senator Charles Hawkins, and Bill Bolling, former lieutenant governor of Virginia.

Candidate Issues Forum with Warner and Gillespie
Tuesday, Oct. 14, 7 p.m.

U.S. Senator Mark Warner and GOP challenger Ed Gillespie will appear at a Sorensen Institute candidate forum, cosponsored by WSET-TV and the Danville Register & Bee.
Join our Facebook Event for more information.

Sorensen to host second Autumn Gala on Nov. 14
Sep 12 2014 - 2:34pm

Join new friends and old at the Sorensen Institute's Autumn Gala on Friday, Nov. 14. The event begins at 6 p.m. at the Ritz-Carlton Pentagon City.

You can have your business or organization sponsor a table! Contact Colleen Smith at 434-982-4910.

Speakers include Jim Moran and Sorensen alumni Robert Hurt and Scott Rigell.

After dinner, the evening continues at a special alumni afterparty at Siné Irish Pub in Pentagon Row beginning at 9 p.m. All Sorensen alumni, including those who cannot attend the Gala, are invited to the afterparty. Potential PLP and CTP applicants are also welcome. (There is no dress code for the afterparty—cocktail and casual attire are equally appropriate.)

To purchase Gala tickets, visit To RSVP for the free alumni afterparty, email

Applications now being accepted for 2015 PLP and CTP
Sep 8 2014 - 4:06pm

The Sorensen Institute is now accepting applications for the 2015 Political Leaders Program and the 2015 Candidate Training Program.  Applications will be accepted for both programs until 11:59pm on Monday, November 10, 2014.  More information about the programs, as well as application instructions, can be found on our Application Page

If you know someone who would be a good addition to either class, feel free to submit their information to us using our Referrals Page and we will get in touch with the prospective applicant.

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Featured Alumni

  • Chip Harding.jpg

    Chip Harding

    Candidate Training Program

    Class of 2006

    A former Captain for the City of Charlottesville Police Department, Chip was elected Sheriff of Albemarle County in November 2007. Chip was recognized by Parade magazine as one of America's "Top Police Officers of 2007."