Political Development Series

Women are needed in political office!

The Women’s Leadership Institute offers a one-of-a-kind, nonpartisan political candidate training program for women in Utah. Our Political Development Series is an interactive and instructive training that will teach you the ‘how’ and ‘why’ of running for public office. You will join a cohort of women and, over the course of six months, hear from a variety of experts and participate in various workshops—all designed to prepare you to run for a local, state-wide or federal office.

As we navigate the exit of the COVID-19 pandemic and continue to serve women in all areas of Utah, the 2021-2022 cohort will be both in-person as well as over Zoom, when possible. 

Women are getting involved in politics. A voice is critical, but a VOTE is even more powerful. 


Let us help you reach your political aspirations!

PDS Participants

Participants Became Candidates


Candidates Win

PDS Participants Appointed

2021-2022 Cohort is Full.

The next series begins in September 2022. Add your email to the waitlist and be the first to know when registration opens in the Summer of 2022. 

★ Training Schedule

Thursday, September 16, 2021
“Why We Need You in Politics”

10:30 am – Open Networking
11 am to 2 pm – Training & Lunch
Thursday, October 28, 2021
(fourth week)
“Campaign Components”

10:30 am – Open Networking
11 am to 2 pm – Training & Lunch
Thursday, November 18, 2021
“Campaign Communications”

10:30 am – Open Networking
11 am to 2 pm – Training & Lunch
Thursday, December 16, 2021
“Keystone Policy Issues”

10:30 am – Open Networking
11 am to 2 pm – Training & Lunch
Thursday, January 20, 2022
“Campaign Confidence”

10:30 am – Open Networking
11 am to 2 pm – Training & Lunch
Thursday, February 17, 2022
Utah State Capitol Building

11 am to 2 pm – Program & Lunch


Zions Bank, Founder’s Room (13th Floor)

One South Main
Salt Lake City, UT 84133
Zoom link will also be provided for trainings in September – January.

What Women Are Saying About The Political Development Series

“When I began this journey I was prepared for the entire year of work the campaign took. My time in WLI was invaluable.  I was able to listen, learn and strategize many campaign ideas due to the amazing speakers that were brought in and my other classmates.  I am beyond honored to be the first female mayor for the beautiful city of Provo.”

Michelle Kaufusi

First Female Mayor of Provo

“As a two-term councilwoman in Logan, I had considered taking the next step of running for Mayor.  WLI provided advice and encouragement towards that goal.  Thanks to Pat and the WLI for their good work towards ensuring we have more women’s voices represented In government.”
Holly Daines

Mayor of Logan

“I will never forget the first time I heard Pat Jones talk about the benefits of running for office regardless of the outcome of the election.  At the first session of the Political Development Series, she told us about her granddaughter delivering the commencement speech at her High School Graduation — after the graduation the granddaughter told Pat that she developed courage by growing up knocking on doors for her grandma’s political campaigns.  I have found the same to be true.  Someone recently asked my daughter what she learned by her mom running for office, and without hesitation she said, ‘It has made me more confident.’ Running for office has been one of the best things we have ever done as a family, and I can’t recommend it highly enough.

The Political Development Series will inspire you and give you the courage and tools to run for office.  There is something wonderful about being in a room full of smart, engaged women from a variety of political backgrounds all interested in making our state better.  The speakers were informative and dynamic, and the women I met were truly amazing.  I especially enjoyed the session on the nuts and bolts of running for office, and the panel discussions with women serving in various elected offices.  I highly recommend this series to anyone interested in running for office or just being more involved with policy decisions in Utah.  Sign up — we need you!”

Suzanne Harrison

Utah House District 32

“I was just thinking about how much the political development series helped me make the decision to run and then overcome some of the self-doubt that tends to plague us as women in the public arena. Your efforts made a significant difference for me and I’m sure for many others.”

Kelleen Potter

Heber City Mayor

“I loved participating in the Political Development Series. To me, it was a monthly dose of can-do and candor that I looked forward to every time. The other ladies inspired me and I feel more prepared to grow my political wings. Thank you WLI for providing this empowering opportunity!”

Jewel Allen

Grantsville City Council Member

“The Political Development Series was instrumental in my decision to run for Millcreek City Council in 2016. It gave me the tools I needed to run for office.  For example, the funding raising section was one of the critical elements I needed to run my campaign.  I learned how to ask for donations, and people gave generously.

When I came in third in my district in the primaries, I decided to support my opponent, Bev Uipi, for the general election.  I supported Bev because we have a similar vision for the future of Millcreek City, and her values align with mine.  Bev and I actually met at the PDS, and that is where we discovered we would be running against each other.

Not only did the Political Development Series teach me the skills and knowledge I needed to run for office, it also gave me the tools and courage to run.  I am grateful for the WLI, and the wonderful women cohorts I met and connected with!”

Lisa Bagley

2021-2022 Cohort is Full

The next cohort will start in September 2022. Add your email to the waitlist and be the first to know when registration starts.