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Leadership Excellence for Nonpartisan Staff (LENS)

Leadership Excellence for Nonpartisan Staff (LENS)

Strengthening the legislative institution by developing the next generation of principled leaders

CSG West, in partnership with the Robert D. and Billie Ray Center at Drake University, is pleased to announce the inaugural class of the Leadership Excellence for Nonpartisan Staff (LENS) program. The LENS program brings together rising leaders in various nonpartisan staff offices in Western state legislatures for a ten-week, collaborative leadership development curriculum designed to bolster the strength of legislative institutions and build a pipeline for principled governance in state offices for the next generation.  

For more information on the LENS program, please contact Jennifer Schanze at

What is LENS?

LENS participants can expect to delve into the following areas of leadership: 

  • Building self-awareness on leadership and communication styles through personality assessment(s) 
  • Strategies to help navigate the nonpartisan responsibility and protect the legislative institution 
  • Navigating conflict and difficult situations through communication and influence 
  • Managing up, managing down, and working collaboratively with peers  
  • Building a culture of excellence for optimal performance 

During the program, participants can expect to spend up to 3 hours per week on virtual sessions, group collaboration, individual homework, and mentorship.  The LENS curriculum will include ten online classes, one individual project, one group project, and working with an in-state mentor appointed by the legislative agency director to provide coaching and accountability on goal-setting progress.  

After the following year’s legislative session, each LENS cohort will gather at the CSG West Annual Meeting to engage in additional leadership development and relationship building.   

Who Attends?

Participation in the program is dependent on appointments from each state’s agency directors.


Coming soon!

Program Sponsorship

For information on sponsor opportunities, please contact Edgar Ruiz, CSG West Director.

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