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.


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

Arizona leaders earn 2021 Flinn-Brown Awards

The Arizona Center for Civic Leadership has honored five of the state’s most dedicated and impactful leaders with the 2021 Flinn-Brown Awards.

The five winning Flinn-Brown Fellows are: Lea Márquez Peterson, 2011 (Jack Jewett Award); Paul Brierley, 2011 (Network Builder Award); Joanne Keene, 2016 (Arizona Champion-Northern Arizona); Mila Besich, 2019 (Arizona Champion-Central Arizona); and Mignonne Hollis, 2013 (Arizona Champion-Southern Arizona).

The Fellows received their awards Nov. 12 during the annual 2021 Flinn-Brown Convention at the Heard Museum in Phoenix. [Read more]


Civic Leadership

Flinn-Brown Fellow Elyse Guidas connecting food to people

Elyse Guidas connects food to people, in both urban and rural communities throughout Arizona, as executive director of Activate Food Arizona. The organization’s flagship program is Farm Express, a mini fleet of mobile produce markets that provide affordable food options in neighborhoods with limited access to healthy food.

Guidas, a 2019 Flinn-Brown Fellow from Phoenix, says food offers a unique opportunity for Arizonans to come together over a myriad of social and political issues. She says our civic health greatly depends on our ability to sustain local, thriving food systems in big and small communities throughout Arizona. [Read more]


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, was held Nov. 12 at the Heard Museum in Phoenix. The all-day event featured 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 focused 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. [Read more]


Civic Leadership

CivEx webinar focuses on housing affordability, homelessness 

The Arizona Center for Civic Leadership hosted a CivEx conversation Nov. 17 about housing affordability and homelessness. This webinar explored Arizona’s affordable housing crisis in both urban and rural communities and how service organizations from across the state are addressing dramatically increasing cases of homelessness.

Flinn-Brown Fellow Terry Benelli (2011), executive director, LISC-Phoenix moderated a panel of experts from around the state. [View the webinar]


Civic Leadership

Flinn-Brown Fellow Ricky Hernandez strong steward and advocate for education resources

Ricky Hernandez serves as assistant vice president of University Alumni & Development Program Financial Operations for the University of Arizona Foundation. He manages and controls the coordination of all accounting, budgeting, auditing, and financial operations functions to ensure the financial integrity of the University Alumni & Development Program.

Hernandez, a 2018 Flinn-Brown Fellow from Tucson, has worked in public finance for over 18 years in Arizona—in both K-12 and higher education in roles that required him to be a strong steward and advocate for education resources. [Read more]


News and Updates

Civic Leadership

Flinn-Brown Fellow Elyse Guidas connecting food to people

Elyse Guidas (Phoenix, 2019) Executive Director, Activate Food Arizona LinkedIn | Twitter 1. Can you please describe your work and how public policy impacts how you manage your organization?  Activate Food Arizona connects food to people. In both urban and rural communities throughout Arizona, we create innovative solutions to food system challenges and help communities develop food […]

Civic Leadership

November 2021 Network News

Thoughts from Dawn Wallace Thank you to all the Fellows who joined us at the Heard Museum for the 2021 Flinn-Brown Convention! It was a real pleasure to meet you all—some of you whom I’ve gotten to know through phone conversations, Zoom meetings, or your pictures in a directory. I truly appreciate that you all […]

Civic Leadership

Arizona leaders earn 2021 Flinn-Brown Awards

The Arizona Center for Civic Leadership has honored five of the state’s most dedicated and impactful leaders with the 2021 Flinn-Brown Awards. The five winning Flinn-Brown Fellows include statewide and local office holders and leaders in higher education, economic development, and city government. The Fellows received their awards Nov. 12 during the annual 2021 Flinn-Brown […]

Civic Leadership

Flinn-Brown Fellow Ricky Hernandez strong steward and advocate for education resources

Ricky Hernandez (Tucson 2018) Assistant Vice President, University Alumni & Development Program Financial Operations, University of Arizona Foundation LinkedIn | Twitter 1. Can you please describe your work and how public policy impacts how you manage your organization?  I currently oversee the financial operations of University of Arizona’s investment in the Alumni & Development program. I have […]