Chapman named top emerging state leader

Published 3:50 pm Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Alabama Secretary of State Beth Chapman, a native of Greenville, is one of 40 emerging state leaders from across the nation selected for the prestigious Toll Fellowship Program sponsored by The Council of State Governments.

The annual seminar, named in honor of Henry Toll, a Colorado senator who founded CSG in 1933, seeks to develop the next generation of leaders from all three branches of state government. This year’s dynamic program, held in Lexington, Ky., focuses on trends analysis, policy development and constituent relations, plus leadership and institutional changes. The experience, paid for by the program (not the state), gives these leaders perspectives they would not ordinarily obtain during the course of their regular governmental service.

Chapman was selected from hundreds of outstanding applicants by a committee of state elected and appointed officials as one of the most promising leaders of state government in the nation. This year’s applicant pool included state leaders from all three branches and represented 40 states and two US territories. Past Toll Fellowship graduates include governors, US Senators and members of Congress, as well as leaders in state government.

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Chapman, a Republican, has been elected statewide twice as a Constitutional Officer as State Auditor and Secretary of State.

As State Auditor, Chapman and her staff had 96 percent perfect audits of state agencies, and as Secretary of State she oversaw the largest Presidential election in the state’s history. In addition, she has been a national advocate for military and overseas voting efforts, testifying before a Congressional Committee on the subject. She also established the first Voter Fraud Task Force in the Secretary of State’s Office and had brought the business division into the 21st Century with electronic online business filings.

Chapman was elected as an officer in the National Association of Secretaries of State, which is the oldest organization of its kind in the nation. She also represents Alabama on several other boards including the United States Election Assistance Commission Standards Board and military and overseas voting boards.