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Henry Clay Center for Statesmanship Announces Expanded Program and
New Partnerships with University of Kentucky’s Martin School and The Council of State Governments

Acclaimed Student Congress to Include Both College and High School Levels.

Lexington, Ky. (January 27, 2016) –The Henry Clay Center for Statesmanship, an innovative non-profit dedicated to educating a new generation of leaders in the essential skills of negotiation, dialogue, and compromise, announced today that it will be expanding its National Student Congress events to both the college and high school levels, in partnership with The Council of State Governments and the University of Kentucky’s Martin School of Public Policy and Administration.

For most of the past decade, The Henry Clay Center has held a summer Student Congress for either college or high school students.  The week-long programs gather competitively chosen students from every region of the US. During that week they have the opportunity to meet with lawmakers, academics, journalists, and civic leaders to discuss the practical importance of compromise and constructive engagement and dialogue to resolve conflict and competing interests in a democracy. Nationally recognized guest speakers engage in seminars with the students, followed by a student debate on a current topic in the Old State Capitol in nearby Frankfort, Kentucky.  Past speakers have included justices of the Supreme Court, US Speakers of the House, governors, US senators and other nationally recognized officials and academic thought leaders.

For the first time, the Center will conduct programs for both high school and college level students. To assist in this expansion, faculty at the University of Kentucky’s Martin School of Public Policy & Administration will design the 2016 Student Congress curriculum, and The Council of State Governments will assist in recruiting qualified applicants from across the country for both programs.

The Student Congress programs are completely free of cost (travel and lodging included) to those selected in the competitive application process. Current college juniors and high school juniors with records of exceptional academic and extracurricular achievement are invited to apply for this once-in-a-lifetime academic and personal development program. The high school program will be held June 12th to June 18th. The college program will be June 19th to June 25th.  Students can apply at

Robert Clay, Co-Chairman of the Henry Clay Center for Statesmanship, noted that “We have long been grateful for the active support of the University of Kentucky and Transylvania University as well as the civic-minded donors who have helped us have a positive impact on so many young Americans. Student Congress alumni are today contributing their skills as staffers in the United States Senate and House, in state governments, top law firms, NGO’s and leading US corporations. Without the key partnerships with the Martin School and The Council of State Governments announced today, we would not be able to offer the expanded programs that will enhance our educational impact. We look forward to long term and fruitful cooperation with both fine organizations.”

Dr. Merl Hackbart, Interim Director of the Martin School of Public Policy and Administration said “The Henry Clay Center addresses among the most important skills for success in public policy, so it is natural for us to become more involved in their good works. We are happy to contribute our academic expertise in designing their curriculum.”

“Education has long been a top policy priority for us, and we admire the positive impact the Henry Clay Center’s programs have on our next generation of leaders. Our national network of state governments lends itself well to aiding in candidate identification and selection from every corner of the nation,” said David Adkins, Executive Director of The Council of State Governments.

Bill Giles, Co-Chairman of the Henry Clay Center concluded, “There has never been a greater need for the skills we foster in tomorrow’s leaders. The partners we now have from major institutions of learning and of government will enable us to expand our important work.”


About the Henry Clay Center for Statesmanship

The Henry Clay Center for Statesmanship was formed in 2007, and is an innovative youth leadership program inspired by Henry Clay, one of our nation’s most revered leaders. He served with distinction as Secretary of State, U.S. Senator and Speaker of the House, leaving a profound legacy as our nation’s “Great Compromiser.” The Center imparts the skills of public dialogue and leadership to bring about change in an increasingly polarized public and civic environment. For more information visit: or @henryclaycenter.


About the University of Kentucky’s Martin School

The James W. Martin School of Public Policy and Administration (the Martin School) is the graduate school of Public Affairs at the University of Kentucky. Located in Lexington, Kentucky, the Martin School prepares students for leadership in public service. The Martin School offers graduate degrees in public administration and public policy. U.S. News & World Report presently ranks the Martin School 2nd in Public Finance and Budgeting among public affairs programs and the National Research Council ranks the Ph.D. program between 4th and 11th overall. For more information visit:


About the Council of State Governments

Founded in 1933, The Council of State Governments (CSG) is a nonpartisan, non-profit organization that champions excellence in state governments to advance the common good.  It serves state legislatures, state courts, and executive branch officials and agencies, and is the nation’s only organization serving all three branches of state government. CSG also serves the U.S. territories of Puerto Rico and the Northern Mariana Islands (commonwealths) as well as Guam and the United States Virgin Islands. For more information visit: