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About New Leadership Idaho

Two smiling students with arms around shoulders
photo of legislators
photo of two students at lecturn

What is NEW Leadership Idaho?

National Education for Women’s (NEW) Leadership is an award-winning program designed to educate and empower the next generation of women leaders. The Center for American Women and Politics (CAWP) at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, developed the innovative program in 1991 and branched out to invite other universities into its Development Network.

The first Idaho program was held in 2014 and was an immediate hit with students, faculty and community leaders. NEW Leadership Idaho is a state wide program. It is administered by Boise State’s School of Public Service, which allows program participant’s close proximity to our state legislature. However, to fulfill its mission and be successful, New Leadership requires wide spread student participation from all of Idaho’s Colleges and Universities.

See Partner Colleges for more information on who to contact at your University.

Program Goals

New Leadership Idaho features an innovative curriculum that…

  • Teaches students about the diversity of women’s historical and contemporary participation in politics and policy making;
  • Connects students with women leaders who make a difference;
  • Helps students explore the demands of justice based, effective, and ethical leadership in a diverse society;
  • Cultivates students’ leadership skills;
  • Enables students to practice leadership through action; and
  • Build a statewide network of peers and mentors.

NEW Leadership does not promote one model of leadership, but rather is designed to assist students in exploring their own approach to leadership and politics. Students will become familiar with a variety of leadership styles and will be given the chance to develop the skills needed to take advantage of a wide range of political activities and opportunities to affect public policy.

Program Dates

NEW Leadership 2018 will be held May 20 through May 26.


Students check in to dorms in the afternoon and get to know each other. A visit to the Idaho Human Rights Memorial showcases diversity, tolerance and what determined citizens can achieve when they believe.


Students will begin the day discussing leadership concepts. What makes a good leader? What types of leadership are you interested in? What leaders are admired in our society? Students will also learn the history of women in politics, begin studying communication skills, and meet young women just starting their careers in the public arena.


The Action Project is introduced! Students are divided into four groups – Pro, Con, Media and Legislative Committee. These groups each study an issue that has been in the news recently. Past Action Projects included Early Learning, Raising the Minimum Wage, and Tuition Lock. Students study the issue throughout the week, culminating in a mock Press Conference and Legislative Hearing on Friday. Today’s activities also include meeting some of Idaho’s female Senators and Representatives.


Professional Standards and Networking are the topics of the day. Students will attend a variety of sessions designed to educate and enhance their understanding of navigating the “public” world.  Today’s panel will feature locally elected female leaders from throughout Idaho – mayors, city councilors, school board members, etc. The day is capped off with a Networking Reception attended by many of Idaho’s business, political and community leaders.


Pulling it all together is the goal of the day. We’ll review the legislative process and learn procedure, meet policy experts, and learn how to manage our message. Student’s will also meet women who influence politics outside of the legislature.


Capitol Day! After a morning tour and some last minute planning for the Action Project, it’s show-time. As with all legislative hearings – the public is invited to attend a mock Press Conference and Legislative Hearing. How will this session’s vote go?


Congratulations, Graduate!