NEW Leadership Illinois

NEW Leadership Illinois

“Participating in the NEW Leadership Program was an incredibly rewarding experience for me. I not only gained valuable skills both professionally and personally, but I met incredible women who share the same passion for public service as I do, many of whom are my colleagues today. I was challenged to look at policy issues through a different lens, and gained a new confidence in myself as a woman in politics”

~State Representative Barbara Hernandez, NEW Leadership® Illinois Class of 2014



IGPA will hold a virtual program for the NEW Leadership class of 2021. IGPA will join our National NEW Leadership partners from 15 states across the county to offer a five-day virtual program June 9-10 and June 14-16. See all the information for the 2021 program. 

Members of the 2021 class will have the opportunity to attend panels, classes, and interactive workshops alongside students from our partner program. Some workshops will offer a national focus and some will have an Illinois focus designed exclusively for the NEW Leadership Illinois students. We will truly miss having the NEW Leadership experience on campus but are excited for the opportunities of virtual engagement ahead. We see this as an opportunity for our students to safely meet, connect with and learn from women leaders and participants across the country, and become a part of the distinguished network of NEW Leadership Illinois.

IGPA plans to stay connected with the 2021 class and provide information on upcoming programming through a soon-to-be-launched NEW Leadership Illinois email newsletter. We intend to provide a seamless training experience in professionalism, leadership, networking, and communication about public policy. We appreciate the flexibility of our members, and we are enthusiastic about the NEW Leadership class of 2021.  



Several members of the NEW Leadership® Illinois 2021 class participated in virtual policy discussions over the summer. 


NEW Leadership® Illinois provides college students and recent graduates from across Illinois with the fundamentals of leadership. Participants engage in an intensive week-long program geared to prepare them to enter the public service arena. NEW Leadership® provides training in leadership, professionalism and networking, political communication, and public policy. The program emphasizes experiential learning through direct interaction with political professionals and project-based activities. NEW Leadership® is a non-partisan program and women leaders from the state, including Illinois women legislators from both the Republican and Democrat parties, serve as mentors in the program. The Institute of Government and Public Affairs (IGPA) co-sponsors the program with the Conference of Women Legislators of the Illinois General Assembly (COWL).



"NEW Leadership Illinois taught me the importance of understanding all sides of a particular public policy. I learned that dedicated women legislators on both sides of the aisle want to do what is best to resolve a particular issue even if they have differing opinions on how to do so. I am thankful for the opportunity I had to learn from real women, on a personal level, about the challenges they face in their daily lives and how they have overcome them. I felt supported, included and encouraged to occupy spaces that I may have otherwise felt were not for people like me, and I walked away with a refreshed sense of confidence to take on whatever life throws at me."

~Karin Machalova, National Immigrant Justice Center, NEW Leadership® Illinois Class of 2017