Flinn Foundation

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

Civic Leadership

Strengthening civic leadership throughout Arizona with the Flinn-Brown Fellowship.

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Offering learning and support for state-level public service for Arizonans of all walks of life and perspectives.
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Learn about the Flinn-Brown Fellowship application process.
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Meet the Flinn-Brown Network through this searchable directory.
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Learn about the Arizona Center for Civic Leadership and its flagship Flinn-Brown Fellowship.
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Read about the impact Flinn-Brown Fellows are making in Arizona plus other news and announcements.
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Learn the stories and connect with this year's 31 Flinn-Brown Fellows.

Civic Leadership

The Arizona Center for Civic Leadership

The Arizona Center for Civic Leadership strengthens civic leadership throughout Arizona, particularly at the state level, through in-person programs and publications on issues and leadership. The independent, nonpartisan Center is part of the Flinn Foundation. The Flinn-Brown Fellowship, the Center’s flagship program, selects Arizonans from all perspectives and walks of life each year for a high-level, 12-session seminar series, membership in the Flinn-Brown Network, and long-term support for state-level public service. The Thomas R. Brown Foundations of Tucson provides generous co-sponsorship resources for the Flinn-Brown Fellowship.


Civic Leadership

Arizona Center for Civic Leadership names 31 Flinn-Brown Fellows for 2020

The Arizona Center for Civic Leadership at the Flinn Foundation has selected 31 civic leaders for its Flinn-Brown Fellowship seminar series that will focus on public policy development to address Arizona’s pressing socio-economic issues.

Four counties from across Arizona will be represented in the new cohort, with about a third of the Flinn-Brown Fellows from outside the Phoenix metro area, including Flagstaff, Kingman, Tucson, and for the first time, Vail. The 2020 Flinn-Brown Fellows hold a diversity of perspectives, experience, and policy interest and represent the private and public sectors in business and industry, government, nonprofits, arts, and education. [Read more]


Civic Leadership

Annual report reveals highlights from 2019 Flinn-Brown Fellowship

The Flinn-Brown Fellowship 2019 annual report provides a summary of the 2019 seminar series and its 30-person cohort, the 2019 Flinn-Brown Convention including its five honorees, the Flinn-Brown Fellows projects, the Flinn-Brown Network and its members’ achievements, and continuing learning opportunities such as the Skill Set Series and Legislative Preview. [Read report]


Civic Leadership

Flinn-Brown Fellow Sarah Douthit strives to improve criminal-justice system as county chief probation officer

Flinn-Brown Fellow Sarah Douthit (2013), the chief probation officer for the Coconino County Adult Probation Department in Flagstaff, answers questions about her profession, public policy, the Flinn-Brown Network, the benefits of art, and the impact of COVID-19.

Douthit has held a variety of positions in the criminal justice system in Arizona and is an active member of the American Probation and Parole Association. She is dedicated to servant leadership in Arizona to promote successful outcomes and healthy communities. [Read more]


Civic Leadership

Flinn Foundation names state-government executive Dawn Wallace to direct civic-leadership program

Dawn Wallace, a public-policy expert who has advised Republican and Democratic governors and guided policy development in both houses of the Arizona Legislature, is joining the Flinn Foundation as its new Vice President, Civic Leadership. Wallace will begin her new role March 23. The application for the 2020 cohort of the Flinn-Brown Fellowship will open two weeks later, on April 6.

Wallace served in the office of Arizona Governor Doug Ducey for more than four years, including leading the development of the Governor’s P-20 education agenda. Most recently, Wallace completed a short-term role as the education-policy advisor to the president of the Arizona State Senate. Her previous experience includes a stint as director of government relations for the Maricopa County Community College District and policy-advisor roles in the Arizona House of Representatives and State Senate. [Read more]


Civic Leadership

Nancy Welch retires after nearly a decade leading statewide civic-leadership program

Nancy Welch led the effort over the last nine-plus years to create Arizona’s leading statewide civic-leadership program through the development of the Arizona Center for Civic Leadership and its Flinn-Brown Fellowship. Welch, who retired at the end of 2019, was hired by the Flinn Foundation in October 2010 as the inaugural director of the center.

Welch constantly innovated to ensure a relevant, timely program for Arizonans on their way to becoming state-level civic leaders. As the program director, Welch developed the Flinn-Brown seminars that have attracted more than 350 Flinn-Brown Fellows and provided opportunities to strengthen connections among Fellows with the creation of the Flinn-Brown Network. Welch also created “Strong Foundations” as a guide for civic leaders and wrote detailed policy pieces, including “Choices, mechanics, and competition: The many facets of voting in Arizona.” [Read more]


Civic Leadership

Coronavirus outbreak brings work of Flinn-Brown Fellow Jessica Rigler into the public eye

Flinn-Brown Fellow Jessica Rigler, an assistant director overseeing the division of public health preparedness at the Arizona Department of Health Services, was at the forefront of identifying and responding to Arizona’s first case of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus.

As part of her role at ADHS, Rigler provides public health information to the Arizona Legislature, helps inform ADHS’ policy direction, and champions public health issues. She is also responsible for leading the state’s preparedness for a possible infectious disease outbreak and sharing critical information with the public. Rigler said her selection to Flinn-Brown has led to new connections with health experts and organization leaders. [Read more]


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News and Updates

Civic Leadership

Arizona Center for Civic Leadership names 31 Flinn-Brown Fellows for 2020

The Arizona Center for Civic Leadership at the Flinn Foundation has selected 31 civic leaders for its Flinn-Brown Fellowship seminar series that will focus on public policy development within the national, state and local political landscape to address Arizona’s pressing socio-economic issues. Four counties from across Arizona will be represented in the new cohort, with […]

Civic Leadership

Annual report reveals highlights from 2019 Flinn-Brown Fellowship

The Flinn-Brown Fellowship 2019 annual report provides a summary of the 2019 seminar series and its 30-person cohort, the 2019 Flinn-Brown Convention including its five honorees, the Flinn-Brown Fellows projects, the Flinn-Brown Network and its members’ achievements, and continuing learning opportunities such as the Skill Set Series and Legislative Preview. Learn more: Flinn-Brown Fellowship 2019 […]

Civic Leadership

Flinn-Brown Fellow Sarah Douthit strives to improve criminal-justice system as county chief probation officer

Flinn-Brown Fellow Sarah Douthit (2013) is the chief probation officer for the Coconino County Adult Probation Department in Flagstaff. She has held a variety of positions in the criminal justice system in Arizona, including with Adult Parole, Adult Probations, and the Arizona Supreme Court. She is also an active member of the American Probation and […]

Civic Leadership

Arizona’s bioscience sector sees record-high venture capital and research funding; strong gains in jobs, wages

TRIF plays critical role in bioscience research, tech transfer at state universities By Brian PowellFlinn Foundation Arizona’s bioscience sector is performing at its highest level since data tracking began nearly two decades ago, helping to position universities, research institutes, companies, and clinicians to play an instrumental role in Arizona’s response to the new coronavirus. Bioscience […]