What Is the Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership?

Through a variety of programs, the Sorensen Institute has a proven track record of bringing together diverse, bipartisan groups with an interest in bettering their communities.

By promoting effective leadership, working together, building trust, ethics, and mastery of public policy issues, Sorensen plays an important role in shaping a positive political discussion, greater understanding among Virginia's regions, and successful results in Virginia's governments and communities. These efforts strengthen the quality of governance and community service at all levels and help restore public confidence in our political system.

Many graduates of Sorensen program have later been elected to office or appointed to key state and local positions in government, served in leadership positions in the private sector or non-profit organizations, and created positive impacts in their communities.

Meet Sorensen Alumni

Meet the esteemed alumni who completed our program and continued on to improve their communities.

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Explore our Programs

 Our leadership development programs focus on Virginia residents interested in becoming active in public service.

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Recruit for our programs

Know someone who would be a good candidate for a Sorensen program? Tell us about them!

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Announcing the HSLP Class of 2020

The Sorensen Institute is thrilled to announce the participants in our 2020 High School Leaders Program. These students will meet via Zoom for three weeks, navigating the same challenges our current elected leaders are facing. The students will find themselves immersed in ethics, bipartisanship, and Virginia politics, policy, and governance. The HSLP is designed to help students build the knowledge and skills they need to step forward as leaders in their communities.

Together We Rise, by Garrison Coward

As we reflect upon the events of recent weeks, the Sorensen Institute wants to share voices from Virginia's civic life calling for greater awareness of the black experience in Virginia. Today we are featuring compelling piece by Garrison Coward about his own difficult personal experiences. Garrison has worked for a Member of Congress and held a senior role in the Republican Party of Virginia. He identifies himself in his piece as a "a commonsense conservative who happens to be black."

The Absence of Trust and Respect - We Must Do Better

We are particularly proud today of one of our alumni, Wendell Taylor, a member of the Political Leaders Program Class of 2001. Wendell has shared a gripping testimonial about his experience as an African American — even as a prosecutor he could not avoid searing, painful experiences.

Podcast: John Warner's Call to Public Service

In conversation with Sorensen Director Larry Roberts, former U.S. Senator John W. Warner (R-Virginia) issued a call to public service and offered advice on being true to yourself and use advantages given to you to make the next generation's experience better than your own.