Town and Village

State rep. selected for fellowship in government leadership development

The Council of State Governments (CSG) has announced that Tristan Roberts, a Democrat who represents Halifax, Whitingham, and Wilmington in the Vermont House, has been selected to participate in the 2023 CSG Henry Toll Fellowship.

The Henry Toll Fellowship is a national leadership development program for state government officials, bringing together (1)46 individuals representing 28 of the states and U.S. territories and from all branches of state government.

"I'm honored and excited to be selected for the Toll Fellowship because of the difference this will make for my constituents," said Roberts in a news release. "My first year in office has given me deeper appreciation of how Vermont's State government supports and sometimes hinders small towns like the ones I represent. I look forward to learning more from the Council of State Governments and the experience of all those involved in this intensive training."

Roberts is a writer and homesteader in Halifax. For the last five years he has worked for a nonprofit, the Health Product Declaration Collaborative, to reduce the prevalence of toxic chemicals in building products.

Since 1986, CSG has annually convened a new class of CSG Henry Toll Fellows at its national headquarters in Lexington, Kentucky, for an intensive leadership boot camp. The program's sessions are designed to stimulate personal assessment and growth, empower leaders to collaborate and communicate more effectively, and provide nonpartisan networking and relationship-building opportunities.

Toll Fellows are nominated by their peers and selected by alumni of the program. The Fellowship honors the founder of CSG, Henry Toll, who, as a former state senator from Colorado, was the driving force behind the creation of CSG in 1933.

"I'm especially excited that the Toll Fellowship and CSG are a nonpartisan setting," said Roberts. "While the media often paints American politics as a partisan environment, multi-party cooperation and compromise is common in the Vermont House. I'm proud of the consensus on major bills that the House Corrections and Institutions committee came to this year. With the Toll Fellowship, I hope to gain a better understanding of where legislators across the policy spectrum are coming from, and how to collaborate on policies that work for all Vermonters."

There are more than 1,350 graduates of the Toll Fellowship, including five state/territorial house speakers, three sitting state supreme court justices, 10 sitting members of Congress, five sitting governors, and more than 200 Toll alumni currently serving as state/territorial legislators.

For more information on the CSG Henry Toll Fellowship, visit: or email [email protected].

This Town and Village item was submitted to The Commons.

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