Montana Women Convene for Fifth Annual Montana Leadership Institute

Undergraduate women are meeting at UM for the fifth annual Montana NEW Leadership Institute. The non-partisan residential program educates, empowers and encourages college women to become politically active and to take on leadership roles.

MISSOULA -– Undergraduate women from across Montana are participating in the fifth annual Montana NEW Leadership Institute at the University of Montana. The non-partisan five-day residential program, taking place through June 24, seeks to educate, empower and encourage collegiate women to become politically active and to take on leadership roles.

The Montana NEW Leadership Institute is part of the national bipartisan NEW Leadership program, developed by the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University.

During the program, students meet local, state and national leaders and develop leadership skills through discussions, workshops and hands-on projects. Participants are encouraged to continue to develop their leadership skills and share what they have learned within their respective communities.

“We are fortunate to house this program to advance the role of women across our state and in support of Montana students becoming part of a nationally recognized cohort of women developing leadership skills,” said program Academic Director Dr. Sara Rinfret.

Participants represent a range of backgrounds and interests, including UM theater major Amirra Patterson; health sciences major Bailey Chalfant of West Texas A&M University; and nursing student Charlie Engum of Great Falls College.

The Center for American Women and Politics is nationally recognized as the leading source of scholarly research and current data about American women’s political participation. Its mission is to promote greater knowledge and understanding about women's participation in politics and government and to enhance women's influence and leadership in public life.

Leadership skills training like the Montana NEW Leadership Program help women bridge the gap between political interest and political leadership.

The program is led by Rinfret of UM’s Department of Public Administration and Policy, Administrative Director Deena Mansour of UM’s Maureen and Mike Mansfield Center and Political Director Stacie Anderson, a member of the Missoula City Council and executive director of A Better Big Sky.

The Mansfield Center fosters globally minded leaders of integrity and sponsors this event within its program for ethical public policy and leadership. The center was founded by an Act of Congress in 1983 in honor of Mike Mansfield’s service to our nation in a spirit of integrity and bipartisanship.

More information is available online at:


Contact: Sara Rinfret, academic director, Montana NEW Leadership, 406-243-4702,