Developing Future Leaders Supporting Southern State Governments
The Staff Academy for Government Excellence (SAGE) is a professional leadership development program for Southern state legislative, judicial, executive and agency staff. In addition to developing their personal and professional leadership skills, participants can build a network of peers from across the Southern region. By shaping staff leaders, SAGE ultimately aims to provide the public with more effective state governments.
The Southern Office of The Council of State Governments (CSG South) and the Southern Legislative Conference (SLC) have a long history of providing exemplary leadership training opportunities for state elected and appointed officials, primarily through The Center for the Advancement of Leadership Skills (CALS), inaugurated in 2007. Building upon the success of CALS and recognizing a need and desire for leadership development for state government staff, CSG South was proud to launch SAGE in Fall 2020.
The nation’s only regionally focused leadership development program for state government staff, SAGE is rooted in CSG South’s proud legacy of providing exemplary leadership training to elected and appointed state officials. SAGE is designed to equip emerging and aspiring staff leaders with the tools necessary to excel in navigating the unique dynamics of career public service and building a deep bench of highly skilled future leaders among state government staff.
SAGE is a classroom experience, not a conference. Because of the nature of the program and the importance of interaction among classmates, participating government staff must commit to attend the program in its entirety.
How do I apply?
Applicants must complete the application form, provide two letters of recommendation, one from a current supervisor and one from a current or former colleague or supervisor, along with a resume, bio and responses to three brief essay questions. The 2023 SAGE application deadline has now passed and will reopen in January 2024!
Applications are accepted from early and mid-career state legislative, judicial, executive and agency staff in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia. Applicants must be continuously employed in state government for at least two years.
What’s the cost?
Full scholarships will be provided to those selected covering the cost of tuition, travel, lodging, and meals.
Where can I learn more?
SAGE is a grassroots leadership program that will have continuous growth. It was exactly what I didn’t know I needed.Kimberly Davis, Arkansas, Class of 2022
I loved SAGE! In addition to being one of the most productive and engaging staff development programs I’ve ever attended, SAGE allowed me to meet some amazing people. SAGE taught me leadership and communication tools that I can use to improve both myself and my agency.Kevin Koon, Arkansas, Class of 2022
“From the very first day that I met with all the participants of the SAGE Program, I felt like I was at home. The environment was friendly and welcoming, and the programs were well put together. Each presenter gave me the motivation and techniques to improve and take what I learned back to my home state. I thoroughly enjoyed this opportunity and if I could do it again I most definitely would.”Roark Brown, Tennessee, Class of 2021
“My SAGE experience has helped me become a better leader in state government and beyond. I met people across the 15 member states of CSG South and have connected with colleagues from other states repeatedly. SAGE also helped me learn to be a better coworker and leader by knowing my communication style and tailoring that style to better fit my audiences for more impact. Thank you, SAGE for the invaluable information!”Jaclyn Schiffour, West Virginia, Class of 2021
“SAGE was a great way for me to network with other public service professionals from across the southeast. The program allows participants to collaborate in a focused environment while learning about the importance of cross-governmental relationships. Not only were the CSG staff fun and engaging, but the program speakers were dynamic and informative. I would recommend SAGE to any public service employee.”Chris Green, Georgia, Class of 2021
Class of 2022
Director of Public Engagement
Senior Budget & Policy Analyst
Education Accountability Investigator
Public Information Manager
Director of Governmental Affairs
Legislative Staff Attorney
Senior Legislative Specialist
Legislative Budget Analyst
Chief of Staff
Class of 2021
Legislative Attorney, Legislative Services Agency
Supervisor of Voter Registration, Alabama Seccretary of State
Senior Legislative Attorney, Bureau of Legislative Research
Legislative Analyst II, Bureau of Legislative Research
Jacques Brown II
Senior Hearing Examiner, State Board of Pardons and Paroles
Director of Economic Development, University System of Georgia
Legislative Analyst, Legislative Research Committee
Senior Legislative Analyst, Legislative Research Committee
Manager, Legislative Research Commission
Senior Analyst, Legislative PEER Committee
Deputy General Counsel, Office of the Governor Michael L. Parson
Communications and Policy Director, Department of Labor
Director of Programming, ABC Commission
Legislative Assistant, House of Representatives
Lewis Carter II
Auditor/Research Analyst, House of Representatives
Legislative Budget Analysis Specialist, General Assembly
Senior Management Consultant, State of Tennessee
Counsel, House of Delegates
Chief Counsel, House of Delegates
Class of 2020
Legal Analyst, Senate Minority Caucus
Governmental Affairs Director and Legislative Counsel, Department of Education
Ada Katherine van Wyhe
Director of Legislative and Constituent Affairs, Department of Mental Health
Deputy Chief of Staff, Department of Management Services
Policy Analyst, House Budget and Research Office
Agency Program Manager, Department of Revenue
Staff Economist, Legislative Research Commission
Software Engineer, Legislative Research Commission
Director of Classification and Compensation, State Personnel Board
Director of Oversight, Joint Committee on Legislative Research
Policy Analyst, House Research Division
Legislative Assistant, House of Representatives
Chief of Operations, Office of Senator George E. Young Sr.
Director of Communications and Policy, Senate Majority Office
Senior Policy Advisor, Office of Senate Majority Leader Jack Johnson
Budget Analysis Specialist, General Assembly
Senior Advisor, Health and Human Services Commission
Assistant Clerk, Senate Clerk’s Office