Manar HeadshotrSPRINGFIELD – In an effort to foster cooperation across regional, political and ethnic lines to better address challenges facing the state, the Institute of Government and Public Affairs, along with former Governor Jim Edgar, have announced the 40 individuals from a pool of nearly 160 nominees that will participate in this year’s Edgar Fellows Program. Among those selected to participate in the program is State Senator Andy Manar (D–Bunker Hill).

“This is a great opportunity for future leaders from all across the state to come together and share ideas for moving Illinois forward,” Manar said. “I’m humbled to have the opportunity to learn from former leaders like Governor Edgar, who excelled at bridging political and regional boundaries.”

As many as 40 up-and-comers are selected annually to become Edgar Fellows. The fellows spend four days on the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign campus in an intense executive leadership-training program aimed at teaching them key leadership skills and strategies in an effort to inform and inspire collaboration.

“It’s not often that you hear cooperation and politics in the same sentence, but I think that’s why a program like this is so important,” Manar said. “People are frustrated at the lack of cooperation and bipartisanship that has been absent over the past several years in all levels of government. I think everyone is ready for that to change.”

The fellows chosen this year include elected and appointed officials from all levels of Illinois government, as well as Illinoisans who are making their mark in the business world and their communities.

“I am confident these emerging leaders representing the great diversity of our state will become friends,” Edgar said. “They will realize that they have much in common and appreciate differences in perspective.  They will form bonds and sharpen leadership skills that should help them solve problems as they assume even more responsibility."

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