The Sorensen Institute 2023 Political Leaders Program Application

YOU HAVE UNTIL 11:59PM ON MONDAY, NOVEMBER 14, 2022 TO COMPLETE THIS APPLICATION.

Please note that there is no way to save the application and return to work on it later. For this reason we recommend preparing all of the following information (especially the essay questions) in advance in another program so that you can the import your responses into this application.
Once you start the application there is no way to save partial work so make sure you have everything you need to complete the application before entering your responses.
Applicants may also submit up to two letters of recommendation and a resume.  They are recommended but not required.  We will not review more than two letters of recommendation.  Emailed letters and resumes must be received by Friday, November 18th and can be sent to the selection committee at sorensenapplications@virginia.edu.  Please do not mail any application materials. 
Biographical Information

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* 1. First name

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* 2. Middle Name/Initial

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* 3. Last name

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* 4. Preferred name/nickname

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* 5. Home address

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* 6. Home phone number

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* 7. Cell phone number

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* 8. E-mail  (Please provide an email you check regularly, as this will be our primary means of communicating with you.)

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* 9. If you use LinkedIn, please provide the link to your profile.

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* 10. Political affiliation

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* 11. Political philosophy

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* 12. Geographic identification where you currently live

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Sorensen Institute Regions

Sorensen Institute Regions
Current Work Information

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* 14. Current Work Information

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* 15. Work address

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* 16. Work phone

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* 17. Briefly describe your company or organization including sector and the type of work.

Education
Start with your most recent educational experience and work backwards to high school. You may include non-degree training programs that you think are significant. You do not have to use all five spaces.

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* 18. Educational History

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* 19. Educational History

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* 20. Educational History

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* 21. Educational History

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* 22. Educational History

Employment Information
List your four most recent employers.  If you have had fewer than four, you do not need to use all four spaces.

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* 23. Employer

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* 24. Employer

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* 25. Employer

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* 26. Employer

Organizations and Activities
Tell us more about your activities outside of work. There are sections for political organizations and activities, civic or volunteer organizations and activities, or other organizations or activities. You do not need to use all spots for all categories.

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* 27. Political Organization/Activity

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* 28. Political Organization/Activity

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* 29. Political Organization/Activity

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* 30. Civic or Volunteer Organization/Activity

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* 31. Civic or Volunteer Organization/Activity

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* 32. Civic or Volunteer Organization/Activity

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* 33. Other Organization/Activity

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* 34. Other Organization/Activity

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* 35. Other Organization/Activity

Short answer questions
Please write 250 to 500 word answers for each of the following questions.

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* 36. What role should civil discourse, dialogue, and respect for others unlike oneself have in our polarized politics? Do these notions have value in themselves? Should they play a role in elections? Do they have value in the effort to achieve policy goals? Explain.

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* 37. Describe a time when you had to work with someone or a group of people who disagreed with you and with whom you had to build consensus or a compromise.  How did you do that?  What was the result of your efforts?  What did you learn from the process?

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* 38. What achievement, experience or pursuit in your life makes you most proud? What has been your most satisfying leadership achievement so far? What barrier(s), if any, have you encountered in achieving your goals? Explain.

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* 39. What does state or local government in Virginia do well? What would you like to change about government in Virginia?

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* 40. Have you ever run for political office?  Is it your goal to become an elected and/or appointed public official? If so, what sort of office would you pursue, and why? If not, what role do you see for yourself in the political and/or civic life of Virginia or your local community?

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* 41. What specific skills, knowledge or resources do you hope to acquire as a result of participating in the Sorensen Institute Political Leaders Program?

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* 42. Each class is selected to bring together unique individuals who care about politics and policy in Virginia.  If you were to be selected, what unique attribute, experience, or perspective do you feel you would contribute to the cohort?

Other Information

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* 43. How did you learn about the Sorensen Institute?  If you heard about the program from someone, please share their name(s).

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* 44. Reference 1

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* 45. Reference 2

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* 46. Please read the statement of financial understanding below. After you have read it and are sure you can comply with the requirements, type your name in the field provided. This will serve as an electronic signature to signify understanding.

Statement of Financial Understanding:
As an applicant for the Sorensen Institute’s 2023 Political Leaders Program I sign my name electronically below to signify that….
  • Responsibility for paying for participation in the program is my own.
  • The cost of the 2023 Political Leaders Program is $5,600.00
  • If I am accepted, payment in full is expected by February 15, 2023.
  • I can apply for financial aid.  The financial aid process is managed by the Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service and will take place after acceptance.
  • As a form of financial assistance, I can chose a payment plan option, which includes a small convenience and processing fee.  The payment plan is four payments of $1,475.00 due February 15, April 15, June 15, August 15.
  • According to IRS guidance, the Lifetime Learning tax credit applies to students who are enrolled in one or more courses at an eligible educational institution. The course or courses must be either part of a postsecondary degree program or taken by the student to acquire or improve job skills. There are many other details surrounding the Hope and Lifetime Learning Tax Credits. We suggest that you contact your own tax professional to see if you qualify for these credits. Unfortunately, neither the Sorensen Political Institute nor the Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service can provide tax advice. You can also contact the IRS' Office of Public Liaison at 202-622-2970 or view Publication 970 on the IRS website for further information.
Typed name to signify understanding:

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* 47. Please read the Attendance Policy below. After you have read it and are sure you can comply with the requirements, type your name in the field provided. This will serve as an electronic signature to signify understanding.

Attendance Policy:
The overall success of the program for all participants depends on full commitment to participation in each of the sessions.  This program includes travel to different regions of the Commonwealth.  Your presence strengthens the learning experience for you and your colleagues.  Therefore, we expect attendance, with only minor and occasional exceptions, at all sessions. 

If you cannot make this commitment, we encourage you to apply in another year when your schedule will allow your full participation.  You will be asked to withdraw from the program if you are not able to participate in all mandatory sessions and at least 80% of other programming. 

  • The program sessions are in person and vary in length.  A typical session consists of three days - Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.  Some sessions are two days and meet on Friday and Saturday.
  • Each session includes an experiential learning activity or tour segment, usually as the starting activity.  Participants may not miss more than three such activities or segments.
  • Participants are expected to be present through the start and end of sessions and allow sufficient time for travel.
  • The PLP is not a hybrid or a virtual program; in-person participation counts as being present for a session.
  • Attendance at the first weekend in its entirety is required; if you miss any part of the opening weekend, you will be asked to withdraw from the class.  Applicants who cannot commit to attending all of the opening weekend should not apply this year.
  • Attendance at the October/Norfolk session is also mandatory.  Applicants who cannot commit to attending the October/Norfolk session should not apply this year. 
  • All absences are counted equally- Sorensen does not differentiate between "excused" and "unexcused" absences.
  • Except in the case of emergencies any absence requires approval at least one month prior to the absence.  


As a reminder, below are the dates for this year’s program. If you believe you are unable to make this commitment, you should wait and reapply to the Political Leaders Program when your schedule permits full participation.

Political Leaders Program 2023 Schedule
Williamsburg Opening Weekend*: March 9, 10, 11
Richmond: April 13, 14, 15
Lynchburg: May 19, 20
Danville and Martinsville: June TBD
(No meeting in July)
Harrisonburg: August 11, 12
Southwest: September 6^, 7, 8, 9
Norfolk*: October 19, 20, 21
Alexandria: November 10, 11
Charlottesville: December 8, 9

* Denotes a mandatory session

^ In September, we provide hotel rooms on Wednesday night, but official programming starts Thursday morning.

Typed name to signify understanding:

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* 48. At this time, are there any potential schedule conflicts which might prevent you from participating fully in all sessions?

In the weeks after the deadline, you may hear from us to arrange a personal interview during the first two weeks of December with a panel of board members, staff and alumni.  As of now, interviews will be conducted virtually.  Prior to your interview, please take a moment to review the 2023 program dates to make sure you can comply with each session. Should you have any questions, please email JaVori Warren at jw3uj@virginia.edu.

Applicants may also submit up to two letters of recommendation and a resume. They are recommended but not required.  We will not review more than two letters of recommendation.

Emailed letters and resumes must be received by Friday, November 18th, 2022 and can be sent to the selection committee at sorensenapplications@virginia.edu. Please do not mail any application materials.


When you click the "Submit my application" button below, you will be taken back to the Sorensen website, which means your application has been successfully submitted.  If you are not successfully taken back to the Sorensen website and suspect your application was not submitted successfully, please email sorensenapplications@virginia.edu.

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