Montana NEW Leadership

Educating and Empowering the Next Generation of Women Leaders

NEW Leadership is a national bi-partisan program developed by Rutgers University’s Center for American Women and Politics (CAWP). The purpose of New Leadership is to educate college women about politics and leadership and encourage them to become effective leaders. 

Montana NEW Leadership is a program hosted by the University of Montana’s Mansfield Center to educate, empower, and encourage college women to become politically active and to take on leadership roles. We are looking for applicants who are not necessarily in political science, but who have passion for any social issue(s). 

View a sample agenda for the Montana NEW Leadership Program.

Participants with Montana Governor Steve Bullock


Montana NEW Leadership is supported by donations from corporate sponsors and individuals that cover some of the program costs. Each participating college and university is asked to pay a $500 program fee per student. Housing, food, and all program materials are provided for the full six days of the program. There is no direct cost to the students.

In their applications, applicants are required to provide contact information for a faculty or staff member at their school who will agree to assist them in obtaining funding for the NEW Leadership Montana program fee. A guide to help applicants identify a willing faculty or staff member is available below.

A limited number of scholarships will be available to students who are unable to obtain sponsorship from their schools. You will need to demonstrate that you have made every effort to identify funding in order to qualify.

Early Bird Application Discount: Participants who apply by November 15th, 2018 and are accepted into the program will receive a 50% discount on the program cost and will only need to secure $250 in funding.

Guide to Seeking Funding

Montana NEW Leadership asks that you identify funding to support your participation in the program.  This exercise serves you in two ways:  1) this relives you of the financial cost of participation and 2) you gain experience advocating for yourself and your abilities. Please note that the $500 expected is a small percentage of the overall cost of the program.  Montana NEW Leadership Directors and the University of Montana have identified a number of program sponsors who cover much of the cost of this special opportunity. Please see our list of sponsors on our Sponsors page.
We suggest that you identify an advisor or advocate who can help you identify a source for this $500 in funding.  Many universities or departments have special funding that is available to students who are able to provide a clear and reasoned case as to why they should receive this funding.

Only a limited number of scholarships are available from the Montana NEW Leadership Program, so we ask that you demonstrate that you have made every effort to identify funding prior to requesting such a scholarship.

First, think about why you want to participate in this program. Why is it valuable?  What do you hope to gain from participation? 

Next, think about why you deserve to participate and to be funded. What have you already accomplished which demonstrates your commitment to leadership development?  Why would you in particular benefit from participating in Montana NEW Leadership?  How can you show that you work hard to achieve your goals and are successful in  your role as a student? 

Finally, how does your participation benefit your champion or your institution?  Are you a strong member of their department or organization?  Does your participation help to demonstrate your organization’s commitment to women’s leadership?  Consider these points and develop a short paragraph that you can email to a proposed champion and include a link to the program. In your email, note that you would like to follow-up with them about your request and try to set a meeting to discuss this request in more detail.

The organizations that supports your participants in the Montana NEW Leadership program can come from your campus or your wider community.

People you could approach on campus include: a professor, the chair of your department, an advisor in a program such as an honors college, an academic or athletic advisor, a supervisor in your workplace, provost, president, or student leadership organization.

If you are unable to identify funding on campus, people you could approach off campus include: service clubs, women’s leadership organizations, elected officials, large businesses such as banks or multi-national corporations, etc.

Program Team

Administrative Director

Deena Mansour

Associate Director, Maureen and Mike Mansfield Center Coordinator, Women’s Leadership Initiative
University of Montana
32 Campus Drive
Missoula, MT 59812
Telephone:  406-243-2713

Deena Mansour from the Mansfield Center

Academic Director

Dr. Sara Rinfret
Director, MPA Program
University of Montana
32 Campus Drive
Missoula, MT 59812
Telephone:  406-243-4702


Political Director

Representative Kimberly Dudik

House District 94 Representative
P.O. Box 16712
Missoula, MT  59808

Representative Kimberly Dudik, Montana Legislature