Secretary of State Rokita Selected for Toll Fellowship

Contact: AJ Freeney-Ruiz
317-233-8655, IN - Indiana Secretary of State Todd Rokita is one of forty emerging state leaders from across the nation selected for the prestigious Toll Fellowship Program sponsored by The Council of State Governments (CSG). Rokita is participating in the fellowship program September 24-29, 2005.

The annual week-long seminar is named in honor of Henry Toll, a Colorado senator who founded CSG in 1933. It is aimed at developing the next generation of leaders from all three branches of state government. This year's dynamic program, held in Lexington, Kentucky, focuses on trends analysis, policy development and institutional changes. The experience gives these leaders perspectives they might not ordinarily obtain during the course of their regular governmental service.

Rokita was nominated by Indiana Lieutenant Governor Becky Skillman with endorsements from Indiana State Senator Jerold A. Bonnet and Kentucky Secretary of State Trey Grayson. Rokita was selected from many outstanding applicants by a committee of state elected and appointed officials as one of the most promising leaders of state government. Past Toll Fellowship graduates include governors, United States Senators, and members of Congress as well as leaders in state government.

At the age of 35, Secretary Rokita is the second youngest Secretary of State in the country. First elected to the third highest office in state government in 2002, Secretary Rokita served for a year as the youngest Secretary of State in the nation.

As Indiana's chief election official, Secretary Rokita continues to work on reforming Indiana's election practices to ensure Indiana's elections are as fair, accurate and accessible as possible. By embracing technology and accountability, Secretary Rokita is leading the effort to make Indiana a 21st century election administration model. Rokita serves on the nine-member Executive Board of the Election Assistance Commission Standards Board, charged by federal law to address election reform issues. Secretary Rokita has testified about Indiana's voting reform efforts before the United States Congress.

Secretary Rokita also serves as Indiana's chief securities fraud investigator. Rokita's office has uncovered investor fraud scams and helped secure numerous felony convictions and thousands of dollars in restitution. In his role as the head of Indiana's Business Services Division, Rokita has continued making Indiana a pioneer in e-government initiatives.

Rokita began serving in the Secretary of State's office in 1997. As the Deputy Secretary of State and in other positions, Rokita helped implement user-friendly e-government services, provided tougher securities enforcement, and championed significant election reforms. He is active in the National Association of Secretaries of State, currently serving as the organization's treasurer.

"I am humbled to be considered for this honor," Rokita said. "There are great expectations attached to being named a Toll Fellow, and I will strive to represent Indiana in Lexington as well as to use what I learn there to better serve Hoosiers here at home."

The Council of State Governments is the premier multi-branch organization forecasting policy trends for the community of states, commonwealths and territories on a national and regional basis. CSG alerts state elected and appointed officials to emerging social, economic, and political trends; offers innovative state policy responses to rapidly changing conditions; and advocates multistate problem-solving to maximize resources and competitiveness. CSG promotes excellence in decision-making and leadership skills and champions state sovereignty.