Tuscaloosa-Republican state Rep. Bill Poole announced on Wednesday he was named to the newest class of the Aspen Institute-Rodel Fellowships. Part of the nationally-selected group of 24 elected officials, Poole will participate in the two-year fellowship designed to bring together lawmakers from across the country who have demonstrated an outstanding ability to work responsibly across partisan divisions and bring greater civility to public discourse.
The Colorado-based, non-partisan selected Poole as one of the top 24 “rising political stars” in the nation, awarding him the prestigious Rodel Fellowship as a result.
“These men and women represent the very best among the new generation of America’s political leadership,” former Congressman Mickey Edwards, the program’s director, said in announcing Poole’s inclusion in the scholarship class. “They have each won the notice and praise of their constituents and their colleagues and have shown a dedication to public service that is an encouraging sign in a time of great challenge.”
The group will gather in Aspen, Colo. next year to hear presentations from nationally renowned experts in a variety of fields and to work across party and political divides in order to brainstorm solutions to the problems that ail the nation.
Poole said he was humbled by his inclusion among the country’s top rising leaders and looks forward to working with the other elected officials who come from vastly different and distinct cultures, political philosophies, and approaches.
“I believe Alabama is best served when its leaders surround themselves with the best information, the most innovative ideas, and leading experts in their fields to solve the important issues that face our state,” said Poole in a press release. “The Rodel Fellowship provides an incredible opportunity to communicate with leaders from across the nation regarding problems that we all face. I’m honored to have been selected for this prestigious program and I expect our work will provide me with useful information and materials that will have an immediate impact on my work as a State Legislator and on behalf of the citizens of Alabama.”
Poole was first elected to the Alabama House of Representatives in 2010 and reelected in 2014. He became chairman of the powerful House Ways and Means Education Committee in 2013, which is responsible for passing the annual Education Fund Budget.