CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Cabinet Secretary Robert W. Ferguson, Jr. of the Department of Administration is one of 40 emerging state leaders from across the nation selected for the prestigious Toll Fellowship Program, sponsored by The Council of State Governments, September 27 – October 2, 2008.
The annual week-long seminar, named in honor of Henry Toll, a Colorado senator who founded CSG in 1933, seeks to develop the next generation of leaders from all three branches of state government. This year's dynamic program, held in Lexington, Ky., focuses on trends analysis, policy development, media and constituent relations, and leadership and institutional changes. The experience gives these leaders perspectives they would not ordinarily obtain during the course of their regular governmental service.
Secretary Ferguson was nominated by Gov. Joe Manchin III and 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. This year’s applicant pool included state leaders from all three branches and represented 37 states and two U.S. territories. Past Toll Fellowship graduates include governors, U.S. Senators and members of Congress, as well as leaders in state government. Secretary Ferguson will be serving as the upcoming president of the National Association of Chief Administrators (NASCA), which is part of the Council of State Governments.
A native of Long Island, N.Y., Secretary Ferguson spent 22 years in the Marine Corps serving in a variety of command and staff assignments that included commanding all the Marine recruiters in West Virginia from 1991-1994. He is also a combat veteran of Desert Shield / Desert Storm. Upon retirement from the Marine Corps in 2000, he worked as the director of marketing and sales manager for Petroleum Products Fleet Fueling, a locally owned and operated West Virginia Company.
Secretary Ferguson is a loyal advocate for veteran benefits and serves as the legislative chairman for the WV Mountain State Chapter of the Military Officers Association of America (MOAA). He is also a lifetime member of the Disabled American Veterans, Veterans of Foreign Wars, and a member of the American Legion. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in biology and education from the Citadel in 1978 and is a 2000 graduate from National University with a Master of Arts in Management. He also is a graduate of the USMC Command and Staff College as well as the Joint Department of Defense Advance Course in Logistics.
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 multi-state problem-solving to maximize resources and competitiveness. CSG promotes excellence in decision-making and leadership skills and champions state sovereignty.
For more information about the Henry Toll Fellowship Program, please contact Krista Rinehart of the Council of State Governments at (859) 244-8249.