INDIANAPOLIS ─ State Senator Shelli Yoder (D─Bloomington) was among 39 select lawmakers chosen to participate in a training program that annually identifies and assists promising state leaders in the Midwest. Of the three Indiana lawmakers selected, Sen. Yoder is the only freshman legislator and the only state senator to be selected for the prestigious program. Three legislators were selected from each of eleven Midwestern states while the remaining lawmakers come from four Canadian provinces.

The Council of State Governments’ 26th annual Bowhay Institute for Legislative Leadership Development (BILLD) will take place October 1 through 5 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

“I’m honored to join the select group of legislators who get to call themselves BILLD Fellows,” said Sen. Yoder. “This group will bring together a collection of experiences, both in legislatures and in the real world, that will help us each become better leaders, legislators and citizens. It’s an honor and a privilege to have been selected by the steering committee.”

“The Bowhay Institute is one of the premier leadership training programs in the nation,” says Iowa Sen. Amy Sinclair, who serves as co-chair of the institute’s steering committee. “The legislatures in the region have benefited greatly from the skills their members have gained through this unique educational experience. Many of the graduates now hold key leadership positions in their state.”

Since 1995, 876 lawmakers have graduated from the Bowhay Institute. State legislators from Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin are chosen to participate through a competitive, nonpartisan selection process. Members of the Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario and Saskatchewan legislative assemblies are selected by their caucuses to take part in the program.

A program of The Council of State Governments’ Midwestern Office, the 2021 BILLD program will be held in partnership with the Center for the Study of Governance and Politics at the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs. Courses and seminars are conducted by Humphrey faculty, Midwestern legislative leaders and professional development experts. In addition to curriculum designed to develop leadership skills, the program analyzes a variety of public policy issues, including the economy, trade and elections policy.