Flinn Foundation

Improving the quality of life in Arizona to benefit future generations.

Civic Leadership

Strengthening civic leadership statewide through the Arizona Center for Civic Leadership.

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Apply for Arizona's premier fellowship program of learning and support for state-level public service.
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Register for the monthly virtual public policy seminars emphasizing learning and discussion.
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A partnership to measure Arizona's progress on civic participation and connected communities—and act.
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Meet the nearly 400 Fellows who make up the Flinn-Brown Network through this searchable directory.
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Get the latest on how the Center is strengthening civic learning, civic health, and civic leadership.
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Learn more about the Arizona Center for Civic Leadership and its cornerstone programs.

Connect with Arizona Center for Civic Leadership: Stay up to date.


Civic Leadership

The Arizona Center for Civic Leadership

The nonpartisan Arizona Center for Civic Leadership at the Flinn Foundation enhances civic life in Arizona through civic education, leadership, and engagement programs. The prestigious Flinn-Brown Fellowship fosters civic leaders in Arizona by building knowledge, skills, and a robust network to find solutions for Arizona’s long-term issues. The Arizona Civic Exchange—CivEx—creates opportunities for the public to become better informed and educated on political and policy topics impacting their communities. The Center promotes civic engagement through the Civic Leadership Collaborative by convening Arizona’s leadership-development organizations to advance the goal of building strong leaders in every community in the state.


Civic Leadership

‘Media and the Message’ theme of 2021 Flinn-Brown Convention

The annual Flinn-Brown Convention, an invitation-only event for the entire network of Flinn-Brown Fellows, is set for Nov. 12 at the Heard Museum in Phoenix. The all-day event will feature a moderated panel, breakout sessions, a skills workshop, keynote speakers, the Flinn-Brown Awards, a celebration of the Arizona Center for Civic Leadership’s 10th anniversary, and a reception.

With a theme of “Media and the Message,” the event will focus on the role of the media in communicating and influencing public policy; showcasing the inter-relationship between the media, the public and policymakers; understanding diverse media platforms; and identifying opportunities to expand information access. [Learn more]


Civic Leadership

Flinn-Brown Fellow Robert Navarro helps oversee operations of state’s child safety department

Robert Navarro serves as deputy director of operations for support services for the Arizona Department of Child Safety, which includes oversight of the department’s budget, business operations, comprehensive health plan, and information technology to ensure the front-line staff and vendors have the tools needed to serve Arizona families effectively and efficiently.

Navarro, a 2017 Flinn-Brown Fellow from Chandler, supports opportunities for the public to engage in learning about government programs and services to drive a more constructive conversation regarding civics in Arizona. [Read more]


Civic Leadership

Arizona rural economic development is theme of latest CivEx

The Arizona Center for Civic Leadership hosted a continuation of the CivEx series on rural Arizona economic development with a virtual event Sept. 29 featuring Flinn-Brown Fellows Mignonne Hollis, executive director, Arizona Regional Economic Development Foundation, and Russ Yelton, president, Yelton & Associates.

The one-hour webinar included several special announcements about new Arizona rural economic development projects launched during the pandemic, and discussed how rural development is often challenged by demographics, access to capital, health care, and a skilled workforce. [View the webinar]


Civic Leadership

Flinn-Brown Fellow Kathryn Leonard works to conserve and enhance Arizona’s rich heritage

Kathryn Leonard was appointed by Gov. Doug Ducey in September 2016 to the role of state historic preservation officer, where Leonard administers the State Historic Register and the State Historic Preservation Act and works with both state and federal agencies to help conserve and enhance Arizona’s rich heritage. 

Leonard, a 2016 Flinn-Brown Fellow, has found that most people agree that we have a beautiful state with rich history that is worthy of preservation. She believes historic preservation projects and initiatives provide the perfect backdrop for civic engagement as the very enterprise of preservation is to make the past relevant for the future. [Read more]


Civic Leadership

CivEx webinar focuses on gaming expansion in Arizona


The CivEx conversation about recent state actions to expand gaming in Arizona highlighted key components of the amended state gaming compact and associated law changes enacted by the Legislature earlier this year, which allows sports betting under licenses issued to tribes and pro sports teams.

Kirk Adams, former Speaker of the House of Representatives, hosted the Aug. 25 conversation with panelists: Anni Foster, general counsel, Office of the Arizona Governor; Governor Stephen Lewis, Gila River Indian Community; State Representative Jeff Weninger; State Senator Rebecca Rios; and Amilyn Pierce, vice president of government affairs, Arizona Diamondbacks. [View the webinar 


News and Updates

Civic Leadership

Flinn-Brown Fellow Robert Navarro helps oversee operations of state’s child safety department

Robert Navarro (Chandler, 2017)  Deputy Director of Operations for Support Services, Arizona Department of Child Safety  LinkedIn  1. Can you please describe your work and how public policy impacts how you manage your organization? Currently, I serve as Deputy Director of Operations for Support Services for the Arizona Department of Child Safety. My current role includes oversight of […]

Civic Leadership

September 2021 Network News

Thoughts from Dawn Wallace If we make it clear that feelings are mentionable and manageable, we will have done a great service for mental health – Mr. Fred Rogers (Senate Testimony on PBS Funding, May 1969) Recently, during a Flinn Foundation team building exercise, our facilitator challenged us to note a single point of certainty… […]

Civic Leadership

Flinn-Brown Fellow Kathryn Leonard works to conserve and enhance Arizona’s rich heritage

Kathryn Leonard  State Historic Preservation Officer, Arizona State Parks LinkedIn  1. Can you please describe your work and how public policy impacts how you manage your organization? I currently serve as the State Historic Preservation Officer, appointed by Governor Ducey in September 2016. The State Historic Preservation Officer is a bit of a unicorn position […]

Civic Leadership

August 2021 Network News

Thoughts from Dawn Wallace One of the most awe-inspiring moments of every Olympic Games is the Athletes Parade. Watching each athlete march into Olympic Stadium under the cover of their country’s flag—I’m always struck by the joy and exhilaration on their faces and how powerfully their emotions exude from the screen. The remarkable history of […]