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Leadership Development

Growing Leadership for women and girls

The OCFW works to grow the number and influence of diverse women within all branches of state government, its key initiatives, departmental leadership and policy work.   To do this, the OCFW reaches out to youth and women in diverse communities statewide to inspire the desire to lead, access training and mentoring opportunities, and to create pathways to lifelong leadership.

Inspiring leaders of the next generation: Women of Achievement Awards
Each year the OCFW hosts its Women of Achievement Awards with Governor Kate Brown, and Masters of Ceremonies Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum, Secretary of State Jeanne Atkins, and Secretary of State Bev Clarno during their terms of Office. The Women of Achievement are individuals who have led in civic rights and social justice in Oregon, serving Oregon as leadership models for the next generation of women and girls.  Friends and family members of those honored joined OCFW Commissioners, legislators, community leaders, and students from area community colleges and universities to honor some of Oregon’s most inspiring women.

Young leaders attend New Leadership Oregon through OCFW
The graduating classes of NEW Leadership Oregon, representing diverse college students with hometowns from Klamath Falls to Portland, have included scholarship recipients from OCFW.  NEW Leadership Oregon is a women’s leadership initiative that trains the next generation of leaders, preparing them to solve tomorrow’s problems. It is located in Portland State University's (PSU) Mark Hatfield School of Government.  As part of OCFW’s focus on lifelong leadership, the Commission provided scholarships for eight Oregon college students to attend.

Internships for OCFW’s public policy research
The OCFW provides undergraduate honors, Masters, PhD, and Law students interested in public policy with high-level for-credit internships researching strategic public policy issues of importance to the OCFW and the women of Oregon.  Individual Commissioners and OAC legislators serve as champions for the research and as mentors for the students on the public policy implications of their work.  In June 2015, Emlyn Foxen, a rising senior at Pomona University, became the Commission’s first undergraduate honors student to hold an OCFW public policy internship on incarcerated women. PSU Master’s student Jessica Bull also received an OCFW public policy internship researching the prosperity-focused data and best practices on prosperity for women and girls in Oregon.

In 2020, the OCFW added a new component for undergraduate students to their internships, allowing students the opportunity to explore their passions with policy related internships in subjects of their choice that align with the OCFW strategic priorities. The first such interns helped the OCFW to track its bills of interest during the 2020 short legislative session, using the Oregon Legislative Information System, proposed talking points for OCFW testimony from their own experience and views of the subjects, and also met with the OCFW member legislators to hear more about their work and discuss the subject they tracked for the OCFW.  The pilot year of undergraduate internships was a success, and may grow into regular practice for the OCFW and other interested Advocacy Commissions.