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) and the Southern Legislative Conference 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, the Southern Office of CSG is proud to launch the Staff Academy for Governmental Excellence.

2022 Program Dates

November 13-16, Atlanta, GA

Download 2022 SAGE Brochure 2022 APPLICATION- APPLY NOW

Program Liasion

Jenny Guadalupe
Communications and Programs Associate

About SAGE

The nation’s only regionally focused leadership development program for state government staff, SAGE is rooted in the Southern Office of The Council of State Government’s proud legacy of providing exempla- ry 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 to build 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 provide two letters of recommendation, one from a current supervisor and one from a current or former colleague or supervisor, along with a resume and responses to two brief essay questions. Applications for the class of 2022 will open April 18, 2022.

Who’s eligible?

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 three 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?

For specific inquiries, please call (404) 633-1866 or email Jenny Guadalupe.

“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 2021

Casey Bates

Legislative Attorney, Legislative Services Agency


Jeff Elrod

Supervisor of Voter Registration, Alabama Seccretary of State


Rebecca Miller-Rice

Senior Legislative Attorney, Bureau of Legislative Research


Allison Potratz

Legislative Analyst II, Bureau of Legislative Research


Jacques Brown II

Senior Hearing Examiner, State Board of Pardons and Paroles


Chris Green

Director of Economic Development, University System of Georgia


Joshua Collins

Legislative Analyst, Legislative Research Committee


Brandon White

Senior Legislative Analyst, Legislative Research Committee


Elise York

Manager, Legislative Research Commission


Matthew Holmes

Senior Analyst, Legislative PEER Committee


Caroline Coulter

Deputy General Counsel, Office of the Governor Michael L. Parson


Jennifer Haigwood

Communications and Policy Director, Department of Labor

North Carolina

Missy Welch

Director of Programming, ABC Commission

North Carolina

Meagan Hansen

Legislative Assistant, House of Representatives


Lewis Carter II

Auditor/Research Analyst, House of Representatives

South Carolina

Roark Brown

Legislative Budget Analysis Specialist, General Assembly


Chris Fears

Senior Management Consultant, State of Tennessee


Brian Casto

Counsel, House of Delegates

West Virginia

Jaclyn Schiffour

Chief Counsel, House of Delegates

West Virginia

Class of 2020

Amanda Brown

Legal Analyst, Senate Minority Caucus


Jessica Sanders

Governmental Affairs Director and Legislative Counsel, Department of Education


Ada Katherine van Wyhe

Director of Legislative and Constituent Affairs, Department of Mental Health


Cody Farrill

Deputy Chief of Staff, Department of Management Services


Blake Doss

Policy Analyst, House Budget and Research Office


Michael Leal

Agency Program Manager, Department of Revenue


Scott Tremoulis

Staff Economist, Legislative Research Commission


Johnathan Harris

Software Engineer, Legislative Research Commission


Ryan Beard

Director of Classification and Compensation, State Personnel Board


Julie Morff

Director of Oversight, Joint Committee on Legislative Research


Quyen Do

Policy Analyst, House Research Division


Jordan Harvey

Legislative Assistant, House of Representatives


Tanisha Woods

Chief of Operations, Office of Senator George E. Young Sr.


Reagan Kelley

Director of Communications and Policy, Senate Majority Office

South Carolina

Luke Gustafson

Senior Policy Advisor, Office of Senate Majority Leader Jack Johnson


Tracey Kibet

Budget Analysis Specialist, General Assembly


Sarah Melecki

Senior Advisor, Health and Human Services Commission


Nathan Hatfield

Assistant Clerk, Senate Clerk’s Office