Flinn Foundation

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

Civic Leadership

Strengthening civic leadership throughout Arizona, particularly at the state level.

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Offering learning and support for state-level public service for Arizonans of all walks of life and perspectives. Apply by April 27.
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The 2020 Flinn-Brown Fellowship application is now open. Apply by April 27.
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Meet the Flinn-Brown Network through this searchable directory.
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Explore issues, data, and perspectives from the Arizona Center for Civic Leadership, as well as state and national sources.
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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.

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, 14-session seminar series, membership in the Flinn-Brown Network, and long-term support for state-level public service. The 2020 Flinn-Brown seminar series is accepting applications through April 27. The Thomas R. Brown Foundations of Tucson provides generous co-sponsorship resources for the Flinn-Brown Fellowship.


Civic Leadership

Apply for 2020 Flinn-Brown Fellowship by April 27

The Flinn-Brown Fellowship, Arizona’s premier statewide civic-leadership program dedicated to preparing emerging and established leaders to enter all levels of public service, is seeking applicants for its 2020 Flinn-Brown seminar series.

The deadline to apply is Monday, April 27.

The Fellowship provides unparalleled learning about Arizona policy and politics; connections with top state leaders and policy experts; membership in the powerful Flinn-Brown Network; and personalized long-term civic leadership support. About 25 Arizonans will be selected in a thoughtful and competitive process. [Learn 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]


Civic Leadership

Flinn-Brown Fellows, former Flinn Foundation staff appointed by governor to high-ranking state positions

Two Flinn-Brown Fellows and the former senior program manager of the Arizona Center for Civic Leadership at the Flinn Foundation were appointed by Gov. Doug Ducey to high-level state positions.

Ducey appointed Flinn-Brown Fellow Daniel Ruiz as the state’s chief operating officer and Fellow Trista Guzman-Glover as the director of boards and commissions. Emily Rajakovich, who had served as director of boards and commissions since 2017 after working for the Flinn Foundation, is the new state human resources director at the Arizona Department of Administration. [Read more]


Civic Leadership

Flinn-Brown Fellow and Flinn Scholar Sarah Coles advocates for today’s patients and tomorrow’s doctors

Dr. Sarah Coles, a Flinn-Brown Fellow, is a physician, educator, curriculum developer, policy expert, a member of state and national boards, and overall advocate for patient health. She exercises her civic leadership through activity around health-care policy at the state and national level and works alongside community organizations and government agencies.

“I use the skills I learned in Flinn-Brown every single day,” Coles says. “For people interested in health care and who want to have an impact on the health of their communities at large or advocate for a profession and patient, Flinn-Brown prepared me to do that and enhanced the skills necessary to be successful.”  [Read more]


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News and Updates

Civic Leadership

Flinn-Brown Fellowship application now open

The Flinn-Brown Fellowship, Arizona’s premier statewide civic-leadership program, dedicated to preparing emerging and established leaders to enter all levels of public service, is seeking applicants for its 2020 Flinn-Brown seminar series. Applications and letters of endorsement are due Monday, April 27.  About 25 Arizonans will be selected through a thoughtful and competitive process to join […]

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 succeeds Nancy Welch, who retired in December after guiding the Flinn Foundation’s statewide civic-leadership program from its launch to broad recognition as Arizona’s premier initiative preparing leaders for state-level public service.  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 […]

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. […]

Civic Leadership

Flinn Foundation issues grant to support COVID-19 testing, cancels events

Conference center closes, staff to work from home  Responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Phoenix-based Flinn Foundation has issued an emergency $100,000 grant to the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) to support population-based testing of the novel coronavirus in Arizona and to help TGen immediately and dramatically ramp up its capacity to analyze individual samples for the disease.  Meanwhile, following guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease […]