LEXINGTON, Ky. – Meg O’Leary, director of the Montana Department of Commerce, is one of 48 state policymakers from across the country selected as a Council of State Governments’ Henry Toll Fellow for the Class of 2015.

The class of 2015 Toll fellows represents 33 states and Puerto Rico, with 35 serving in the legislative branch, four in the judiciary, and nine hailing from the executive. A nine-member committee of state leaders, many who are Toll fellows themselves, reviewed a record number of applications to select the class.

Named for CSG founder Henry Wolcott Toll, the Toll Fellowship program is one of the nation’s premier leadership development programs for state government officials. Each year, the program brings 48 of the nation’s top officials from all three branches of state government to Lexington, Ky., for an intensive six-day, five-night intellectual boot camp.

“I want to be involved with a community of rising and energetic leaders all focused on improving the lives of others through smart governing and savvy government,” O’Leary said. “An additional benefit is the opportunity to engage with a group of individuals focused on furthering their own personal growth and development.”

The program’s agenda includes a lineup of dynamic speakers and sessions designed to stimulate personal assessment and growth, while providing priceless networking and relationship-building opportunities.

“The Toll Fellowship remains the oldest and most prestigious of all leadership development programs for elected officials,” said David Adkins, CSG’s executive director and CEO. “Its impact is profound and its quality is renowned. As a Toll fellow from 1993, I know firsthand the impact the program has on elected officials.”

O’Leary said leadership programs like the Toll Fellowship help state leaders become better stewards of state resources.

“State officials are responsible to direct, invest and protect the extremely valuable resources of the state,” she said. “As a country, we must trust those assets to focused and strategic leadership so future generations can enjoy these assets.”

This year’s program will be held Aug. 28 – Sept. 2 in Lexington.