What Is the Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership?

Through a variety of programs - for high school and college leaders to first-time political candidates and influential business and community leaders - the Sorensen Institute has established itself as a powerful and effective force for restoring public confidence in our political system. At the heart of every Sorensen program are three central themes: ethics in public service, the power of bipartisanship, and a concentrated study of public policy issues.

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. Listen on the Cooper Center's website and wherever you listen to podcasts.

Sorensen partners with Center for Politics to offer virtual internships

The Sorensen Institute is proud to partner with the Center for Politics (like Sorensen, part of the UVA Institute of Democracy) to offer virtual summer internships in politics and public service. These internships are open to UVA students who have lost summer jobs or internships due to the pandemic, and applications are due May 15. Learn more at UVA Today.