State Sen. Sue Rezin, R-Morris, recently participated in the Senior Executives in State and Local Government program at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government in Boston.
The programs are competitive, with more than 600 applicants and only a handful chosen to attend.
The three-week program took place in an interactive classroom, where faculty and participants worked together on real-life case studies and learned from each other.
Rezin said this was helpful considering one of the most frequently cited problems of public officials is how to create and engage in public discourse about difficult subjects.
She said, as part of the experience, they were placed in simulated situations where the classroom served as a forum for raising difficult issues and practicing the skill of creating and maintaining a conversation that leads to change.
“I look forward to taking all I learned through this three week course and applying it to better serve the constituents of the 38th District and the state of Illinois,” Rezin said.
“This forum reinforced the importance of maintaining an open and engaged dialogue when attempting to facilitate positive change, which is something I think we can all agree is sorely needed in Illinois.”
According to the program’s website, the Senior Executives in State and Local Government program provides a balance of traditional and hands-on learning experiences to help seasoned public officials meet the changing needs of their constituents and communities.
In particular, the program enables participants to become more effective public managers by challenging assumptions about how to exercise leadership in the public sector, including developing new conceptual frameworks for addressing policy issues, examining innovative partnerships and new models of collaborative governance, exploring the relationship between citizens and their government, understanding the behavioral dimensions of decision-making and exchanging ideas with experienced faculty and a diverse group of colleagues.
The program had special instructors and guest speakers.
One was Dan Fenn, who is an adjunct lecturer in the Executive Programs at the John F. Kennedy School of Government. .
Another lecturer was David King, director of the Executive Program for Senior Executives in State and Local Government.