History of New Leadership
Educate • Engage • Empower
In 2008, The Margaret Chase Smith Policy Center was selected to become the seventeenth member of a national network of Development Partners in the National Education for Women (NEW) LeadershipTM program, initiated in 1991 by the Center for American Women and Politics (CAWP) at Rutgers University. With its focus on helping to build leaders within Maine communities, University of Maine Cooperative Extension became a co-sponsor of NEW Leadership in 2008, and continued in that role until 2011.
Maine NEW Leadership was established in response to the reality that women are significantly under-represented in legislatures, both nationally and in Maine. Research suggests that women are more likely to run for office if they are encouraged and are exposed to political role models, and Maine NEW Leadership is one of the critical components that help women reach their full civic potential.
Since its inception, Maine NEW Leadership graduates have engaged in campus-wide and group leadership positions; have been selected for municipal committees and boards; have been elected to their local school boards; have created diversity coalitions at their universities; have obtained their “dream jobs” due to skills they learned at Maine NEW Leadership; and have been active in single-issue, individual political campaigns, and political party campaigns.