You are here

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 18, 2017

2016 Presidential Contenders O'Malley and Santorum Keynote MPLP Breakfast, Dinner

Two presidential hopefuls who brought their campaigns to Michigan are coming back to the state as headliners for the Michigan Political Leadership Program fundraising dinner and breakfast.

June 29, 2018

A Grand Time to Engage Grand Rapids

This September, the Michigan Political Leadership Program travels to host "Engage Grand Rapids."

February 15, 2018

Leaders from Across Michigan Tapped as MPLP Class of 2018

Michigan State University’s Class of 2018 Michigan Political Leadership Program Fellows begin this studies this month.

September 15, 2017

IPPSR Wins Grant to Empower State Political Leadership Programs

Michigan State University’s Institute for Public Policy and Social Research is moving ahead to build on the successes of the Michigan Political Leadership...

More News >