Rodel Programs

The Rodel Institute operates four innovative leadership and intellectual development programs for elected officials, judges, and senior civil servants as well as the Edwards Book Prize.

The Rodel Fellowship

Each year, Rodel’s signature program selects 24 outstanding state and local-level leaders, divided equally between the two political parties, to come together for a series of three multi-day seminars held over a two-year period. Working with leading scholars as moderators, the fellows read and discuss classic texts dealing with ethical values, democratic principles, and wise and effective leadership. Those texts include the Declaration of Independence, the preamble to the United States Constitution, and writings by Frederick Douglass, Abraham Lincoln, and Martin Luther King, Jr., among many others. Following completion of the Rodel Fellowship seminars, fellows have an opportunity to gather periodically with alumni of the program to discuss critical questions of public policy and public leadership in a nonpartisan setting.

The Rodel Judicial Fellowship

The Rodel Judicial Fellowship brings together cohorts of fifteen to twenty federal judges and state supreme court justices from across the ideological spectrum to study and discuss major issues facing the American judiciary. Major topics include the role of the judiciary in a democracy, Constitutional interpretation, global judicial trends, and the judge as a leader. The first cohort of this program convened in the fall of 2022.

The Rodel Federal Executive Fellowship

The Federal Executive Fellowship is an intellectual and leadership professional development fellowship for senior-level career civil servants across the federal government’s executive branch agencies designed to deepen and strengthen the capabilities of the senior leaders of the U.S. government. The first cohort of this program met in the spring of 2023.

Rodel America

The Rodel Institute periodically convenes bipartisan groups of state and local leaders from select regions of the nation to participate in leadership development workshops employing the proven Rodel seminar model. The program is designed to break down partisan barriers, increase mutual understanding, and create an atmosphere conducive to practical problem-solving. Rodel has run two state-level programs, one in Rhode Island and one Washington state, and is expanding the program to other regions around the United States.

Edwards Book Prize

The Edwards Prize is awarded annually by the Rodel Institute to a book published in the prior year that promises to make an outstanding contribution to the understanding and practice of democracy and American politics. The prize is named in honor of Marvin Henry “Mickey” Edwards, who has inspired generations of American public servants and students as a Member of Congress, faculty member at Harvard, Princeton, and American University, author of multiple scholarly books on the American political process, and founding Executive Director of the Rodel Fellowship. Francis Fukuyama was announced as the first winner at the Rodel Reunion in October 2023.