Flinn-Brown Academy

Flinn-Brown Academy At a Glance

  • Accomplished Peers: The diverse Fellows chosen from throughout Arizona each year for Flinn-Brown are recognized broadly as strong leaders ready to go further.
  • Rich Experience: The Fellowship includes an Orientation Lunch, the annual Flinn-Brown Convention, and 12 additional full-day Academy sessions on Thursdays and Fridays, with supplementary readings tied to seminar topics.
  • Tuition-free: There is no cost to participate in the Flinn-Brown Fellowship. Mileage reimbursement and hotel accommodations are provided for participants outside of Maricopa County. Meals and supplies for seminar days are provided.
  • Nonpartisan Design: The focus is on policy, politics, and solutions to Arizona’s pressing challenges. Interactive sessions include essential facts and figures, examination of policy choices, and articulation of key perspectives.
  • Exceptional Presenters: They include highly experienced elected and appointed officials, executives, judges, scholars, and other experts engaged in decision-making at highest levels, plus political analysis from active state-level practitioners.
  • Personal Growth: Offering unique components for self-assessment and practice of leadership, skills-focused learning events, individualized connections, long-term support, and leadership opportunities.
  • Great Expectations: All Fellows commit to advance toward their civic-leadership goals in the near term, and to offer and seek support from colleagues in the Flinn-Brown Network beyond the Flinn-Brown Academy.

Applying for Flinn-Brown

The application for the 2024 program will open Feb. 1, 2024.

About 25 Arizonans are selected each spring for the Fellowship in a highly competitive selection process.

Please contact Jennifer Papworth with any questions.

Flinn-Brown Academy Facilitators

Flinn-Brown Academy sessions are facilitated by two former state legislators who are leading experts in Arizona policy and politics: Stan Barnes of Copper State Consulting Group and South Mountain Justice of the Peace Rebecca Rios.

Stan Barnes

An Arizona native, Barnes was elected as a Republican to the Arizona House of Representatives in 1988 and served a combined three terms in the Arizona House of Representatives and the Arizona State Senate. He leads Copper State Consulting, a lobbying and public-affairs company, and is a go-to expert on Arizona politics for national and local media. He began his role with Flinn-Brown in 2016.

Rebecca Rios

Also an Arizona native, Rios served in the Arizona Legislature as a Democrat from 1995 to 2023, beginning in the Arizona House of Representatives, where she became the first woman to hold the title as Minority Leader. She is the daughter of Sen. Pete Rios, the first and only Latino president of the state senate. Today, she serves as South Mountain Justice of the Peace. 

Policy experts co-facilitate individual Academy sessions with Barnes and Rios. This group includes current and former state-level officials, executives in key community and business roles, and seasoned leaders in the trenches with vast experience implementing policy. Learn more about these exemplars of civic leadership.

2024 Flinn-Brown Academy Schedule

The Academy sessions are typically held from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., with a couple of evening events. This schedule is subject to change.

August 2024 
Friday, August 2: Orientation Lunch
Friday, August 16: Flinn-Brown Convention  
Thursday, August 22: Economy and Demographics
Friday, August 23: Government and Budget  

September 2024  
Thursday, September 5: PreK-12 Education
Friday, September 6: Higher Education
Thursday, September 19: Public Health and Healthcare 
Friday, September 20: Human Services 

October 2024 
Thursday, October 3: Environment
Friday, October 4: Infrastructure
Thursday, October 17: Criminal Justice
Friday, October 18: Communications and Media Relations
Thursday, October 31: Civic Engagement

November 2024
Friday, November 1: Fellows Projects and Recognition Reception

Stay up-to-date about the Flinn-Brown Fellowship and application timelines, as well as additional Arizona Center for Civic Leadership programming and news, by joining our email list.