Senators participate in leadership program for select southern state government officials

A trio of state Senators is attending the 2021 Center for the Advancement of Leadership Skills (CALS) in Little Rock, AR, this week.

Sen. Carri Hicks, D-Oklahoma City, Sen. Julia Kirt, D-Oklahoma City, and Sen. Brent Howard, R-Altus, were selected to participate in the prestigious program put on by the Southern Office of The Council of State Governments from October 2-6.

Started in 2007, CALS brings together select officials from the three branches of government in 15 Southern states to refine their leadership skills in a nonpartisan environment. The program focuses on communication, conflict resolution, consensus building, and critical decision-making. Ultimately, CALS aims to provide the public with highly-skilled, educated, and confident state leaders.

“It is a true privilege and honor to be selected to participate in this important leadership program,” Sen. Hicks said.“This training will help expand our knowledge and skills so that we can be even better public servants for those who entrusted us to be their voice at the Oklahoma Capitol. I’m looking forward to sharing what we’ve learned with our colleagues to help make Oklahoma an even better place to live, work and raise a family.”

The 2021 program agenda includes sessions on leadership and communication styles, conflict management, creating a culture of ethics and excellence, and leading across generations. Brandon Fleming, the Founder and CEO of the Atlanta-based Harvard Debate Council Diversity Project, will deliver the final keynote address.

“I am proud to be one of the representatives of Oklahoma in this regional program,” Kirt said. “Learning about national best practices and opportunities can only benefit finding solutions for my constituents and Oklahoma.”

Founded in 1933, The Council of State Governments (CSG) is the nation’s only organization serving all three branches of state government. Opened in 1959, the mission of CSG’s Southern Office is to promote and strengthen intergovernmental cooperation among its 15 member states, predominantly through the programs and services provided by its Southern Legislative Conference (SLC).

“These types of training are vital to helping states properly and efficiently address the most pressing issues of the times. Just because we represent different states, we’re often tackling the same issues; and it’s important to have collaboration on best practices across states to ensure timely and successful resolution for our citizens,” Howard said.
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