Anne Mervenne, an Engler administration executive whose passion has enriched the futures of scores of rising Michigan leaders, is stepping down as co-director from the Michigan State University program she helped to build and sustain.
Mervenne will remain as Michigan Political Leadership Program co-director until the 2017 Class of MPLP Fellows completes its training at the end of the year, said Matt Grossmann, director of MSU’s Institute for Public Policy and Social Research.
IPPSR has served as MPLP’s campus home since its founding in 1992.
Mervenne, chief executive officer of Mervenne & Company public affairs consulting firm, was named an MPLP co-director with the Class of 1997 and is the program’s second Republican co-director and the first woman to co-lead the 24 MPLP Fellows.
“Anne has been a long and loyal friend to MPLP and more than a mentor to more than half of MPLP’s now 600-plus alumni. She is an energetic, caring and compassionate leader,” Grossmann said.
“That’s evident through the vast successes of MPLP Fellows she has welcomed to MPLP training weekends and encouraged as they have set their sights on appointed and elected positions from school board to state House and Senate,” he said.
“Anne’s awards for civic and professional leadership are legion, and MPLP’s Fellows, donors and supporters aren’t shy about letting us how much they value the personal interest she takes in them, her advice and counseling, mentoring and networking on their behalf.”
Former state Treasurer Douglas B. Roberts, Ph.D., worked with Mervenne as part of the administration of Michigan Gov. John Engler and again as IPPSR’s past director.
“Anne has done an absolutely outstanding job,” he said. “She is terrific. It was my privilege to work with her.”
Democratic Co-Director Steve Tobocman, who has served with Mervenne at MPLP since 2009, also praised her leadership.
“It has been an exceptional experience to work with Anne in a job that requires a bipartisan approach,” he said. “She is gracious. She is generous. She has been a nonstop supporter for MPLP, its fellows and its graduates. In my 25 years of public service, I have never met a more honorable and hard-working public servant. She personifies the ethics and integrity that MPLP seeks to instill in its fellows and in our public leaders."
“I’ve said this in the past and I’ll say it many times in the future, without hesitation: Anne Mervenne is a Wonder Woman.”
In 2013, the Women Officials Network Foundation named Mervenne a “Wonder Woman of 2013.” The award honors women who have improved the quality of life in southeast Michigan through civic, philanthropic and professional accomplishments.
Professionally, Mervenne has worked with past and present clients: Focus: HOPE, United Way for Southeastern Michigan, Southwest Solutions, the Children’s Hospital of Michigan, and Hope Network. She also currently serves on the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Board of Directors, appointed by Gov. Rick Snyder in 2012.
As a member of Engler’s senior management team, Mervenne was director of appointments, executive director of the Michigan Women’s Commission and worked as director of the governor’s southeastern Michigan office based in Detroit.
Mervenne concluded her tenure as special advisor to the Governor and Chief of Staff to First Lady Michelle Engler.
She currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Detroit Public Safey Foundation, as a Trustee for the Citizens Research Council and on the Center for Michigan Steering Committee. She is also a member of the International Women’s Forum.
IPPSR will honor Mervenne’s service at a reception this November as part of MPLP’s Alumni Conference and final fellowship weekend in East Lansing. Her many friends and supporters are invited to attend.
"We are beginning the search for a new MPLP co-director," Grossmann said. Read more about the position by clicking here. See information about applying for the position here.
In making the announcement, Mervenne encouraged Michigan Republicans to follow in her footsteps.
“My tenure with MPLP has enriched my life beyond measure,” she said. “The talented men and women that I have been privileged to come to know give me great hope for our state. I am extremely grateful to Michigan State University and to the volunteers and donors who help make this program possible.” She will continue to serve MPLP as co-director emeritus.
MPLP is known as one of a handful of similar programs in the country to train rising leaders. MPLP offers 10 months of specialized training in personal leadership, campaign operations, governing and communications.
MPLP co-directors are responsible for recruiting and selecting MPLP Fellows and for developing curriculum, advancement, outreach and engagement.
Download the IPPSR press release here
Download more information about the MPLP co-director position here
Download information about applying for the co-director position here.