May 5, 2009 — Former Virginia Lt. Gov. John H. Hager has been elected chairman of the University of Virginia's Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership. Hager was elected unanimously by his fellow board members at Friday's meeting of the State Advisory Board in Charlottesville.
Hager served as Virginia's lieutenant governor from 1998 to 2002 in the Gilmore administration and is a past chairman of the Republican Party of Virginia. He previously chaired the Sorensen Institute's State Advisory Board before stepping down in 2003 to serve as assistant secretary of education in the George W. Bush administration.
"This is a great honor and a personal thrill for me to return to the Sorensen Board as chairman," he said. "I believe very strongly in the Sorensen mission that Virginia can and should be an example for the nation when it comes to improving the quality of government and political leadership. We have a dedicated board, a strong alumni base and a superb staff. I am looking forward to working with them all."
Bob Gibson, the executive director of the Sorensen Institute, said, "Sorensen is very fortunate to have John back on the Board and serving as chairman. He is one of Virginia's most dedicated public servants and a great leader."
About The Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership
The Sorensen Institute was founded in 1993 to recognize, educate and train emerging political and community leaders throughout the Commonwealth. Its flagship Political Leaders Program runs each year from March through December. A Candidate Training Program is held each year in January and May. The Sorensen Institute offers college and high school leaders programs as well on Grounds at the University each summer.
All Sorensen programs focus on three central themes: ethics in public service, the power of bipartisanship, and a concentrated study of public policy issues. The institute has more than 1,000 graduates of its various programs. Eighteen alumni have been elected to the Virginia General Assembly, 17 of whom currently serve – two in the Senate and 15 in the House of Delegates. Dozens more have been appointed to boards and commissions, while nearly 100 have been elected to local office.
The Sorensen Institute, named for generous benefactor Thomas C. Sorensen, relies on donations and grants from individuals, corporations and foundations to fund its programs.