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Who We Are

The Michigan Political Leadership Program at Michigan State University is a bi-partisan program that identifies individuals from across the state committed to community service and brings them together to engage in a public policy and leadership curriculum.

The curriculum incorporates practical politics, public policy analysis and process, personal leadership development and effective governance. Since 1992, nearly 600 MPLP graduates have put the skills and relationships acquired through the program to work in their communities and in statewide office. MPLP Fellows gain the expertise to tackle public policy issues as candidates for office, as government officials or as citizen activists. Most notably, 11 MPLP graduates are now serving in the Michigan State Legislature.

This innovative program is directed by Susy Avery and Steve Tobocman. Avery has been Chair of the Michigan Republican Party, Executive Director of the Michigan Women’s Commission, Director of Travel and Tourism for the State of Michigan along with serving as Director of Public Affairs for Governor John Engler. She has been elected a Wayne County Commissioner and as Northville Township Supervisor. In addition to other roles, she has hosted her own two cable television programs as well as serving as a frequent panelist for various television and radio programs.

Tobocman served in the Michigan House for three consecutive two-year terms (the maximum allowed under Michigan’s term limits laws.) He was elected Majority Floor Leader, the second-highest position in the Michigan House, during his third term. Tobocman currently serves as the managing partner at New Solutions Group, LLC and has become a national leader in the field of immigrant economic development serving as the founder and director of Global Detroit and the Welcoming Economies (WE Global) Network.

Together, Avery and Tobocman use their considerable public service and government experience to guide 24 men and women chosen annually to participate in MPLP.

MPLP is a program of the Institute for Public Policy and Social Research (IPPSR) in MSU’s College of Social Science. The only bi-partisan public policy and leadership training program in Michigan, MPLP is distinguished as one of only a handful of such successful programs in the nation.


September 10, 2021

Are You Ready for Public Service? Your Call to MPLP

Thank you to everyone who applied for the Class of 2022. Good luck!

October 05, 2021

Pollster and Pundit Frank Luntz is MPLP Headliner

Michigan Political Leadership Leadership Program sets 27th annual dinner in Lansing.

October 04, 2021

Former Democratic Floor Leader Named New MPLP Co-Director

Deputy County Executive Rudy Hobbs is Michigan Political Leadership Program alum.

January 18, 2021

From Filmmaker to Family Advocate, New Class of MPLP Seated

Class of 2021 launching 10-month learning and leading journey.

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