NFWL Issue Summits

Summit picNFWL Issue Summits are two half-days of programming & discussions on some of the most critical issues in America today. They are designed to encourage the building of alliances and foster a safe environment for sharing ideas and learning about new initiatives. Programs include keynote speakers, panel discussions, leadership development sessions, topic training/model legislation, and facilitated roundtable discussions. These engaging presentations and networking opportunities offer elected women new perspectives and innovative ideas that may inevitably lead to policy resolutions and legislation in their respective states.

Summits are limited to 25-35 elected women. Invitees are those championing legislation in their community on the specific subject, sitting on committees related to the topic, and/or those who want to take action on the issue but need the knowledge and support to do so.

2022 Healthcare Policy Summit

  • June 16-17, 2022 in Washington, D.C.
  • Find out more about the Summit here.

2019 Marijuana Policy Summit

  • August 15-16, 2019 in Denver, CO
  • Find out more about the Summit here.

2018 Workforce Development Summit

  • August 20-21, 2018 in Alexandria, VA
  • Find out more about the Summit here.

2017 Wisconsin Fall Symposium

Wisconsin Fall Symposium Attendees

October 27-28 brought women interested in public policy from across the midwest region to Eau Claire, Wisconsin for the annual Wisconsin Fall Symposium for Women Policymakers. Programs focused on local business, marketing strategies, and leadership development, offering attendees the opportunity to collaborate on regional issues while networking. NFWL Board Member Representative Kathy Bernier and NFWL Wisconsin State Director Representative Lisa Subeck co-hosted the event and lead the summit’s formative programming.

Keynote Speakers: Jessie Garcia, first female TV sportscaster in the midwest


Sponsors: Walmart and Xcel Energy


2017 State Director Leadership Summit

Elected Women Attendees

On September 21-22, thirty elected women from across the country joined NFWL at the Omni Shoreham in Washington, D.C. for the inaugural State Director Leadership Summit. The event was by invitation only for NFWL Board Members, Committee Chairs, and State Directors. The programming focused on comprehensive leadership training and policy discussions.

Elected women were exposed to the National Institute for Civil Discourse’s (NICD) exclusive NFWL Civility Ambassador training, which provides elected women with concrete tools to improve civil discourse in their legislative bodies. 

Other trainings helped elected women identify their leadership strengths and how to build upon these assets. Activities such as these fostered collaboration among attendees. Networking was another large component of the program, where attendees participated in speed networking. This allowed attendees to share their experiences and policy interests with their colleagues.

Keynote Speakers: Jennifer Lawless, American University and The Honorable Linda Smith, Shared Hope International

Sponsors: Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, PepsiCo, Professional Beauty Association, American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers, Beast Media, Next Generation- National Institute for Civil Discourse, NRA, STEM Education Coalition, Shared Hope International

Click here to get the full re-cap!

2017 Leading with Civility Summit

NFWL Staff with elected women attendees and their guests

The National Foundation for Women Legislators (NFWL) was honored to join National Institute for Civil Discourse- Next Generation (NICD) and the State Legislative Leaders Foundation (SLLF) at their new facility in The Centerville, MA, on August 2-4, 2017 to co-host a summit on civility, made possible through a grant from The Bridge Alliance, a non-profit organization dedicated to restoring civility and collaboration in government.

All of our organizations are dedicated to the proposition that Republicans and Democrats, liberals and conservatives, can find common ground if they work to establish a firm foundation of mutual respect and trust. To achieve this goal, we invited 24 leaders from 12 states to participate, bringing together legislators of all ideologies, to discuss and debate current issues.

Through open participation and honest commitment to civility, the group- comprised almost equally of men and women- was able to talk through differences, and get to know their counterparts from across the aisle. Every legislator left the event with an action plan on how they can work toward improving civility in their state.

2016 Human Trafficking Summit

Heitkamp and Co Chairs 2

U.S. Senator Heidi Heitkamp with Summit Co-Chairs MT Rep. Dudik and MI Sen. Emmons

The 2016 NFWL Human Trafficking Summit took place June 16-17 in the Washington D.C. area, where 25 elected women joined Summit Co-Chairs Michigan State Senator Judy Emmons and Montana State Representative Kimberly Dudik to discuss one of the most critical issues in America today: child sex trafficking.

Keynote Speakers: Tina Frundt, Executive Director, Courtney’s House and The Honorable Linda Smith, Founder & President, Shared Hope International

Attendees were joined by U.S. Senator Heidi Heitkamp and video messages from Cindy McCain and U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar were presented during programming on Friday. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, Google, Rescuing Hope, The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Connecticut Department of Children and Families, Stop Child Predators, Demand Abolition, and End Child Slavery at the Source (ECPAT-USA) provided essential information for attendees to utilize in their efforts to combat human trafficking.

Click here to get the full re-cap!


2016 Wisconsin Spring Symposium

Symposium attendees during a round table discussion

The 2016 Wisconsin Spring Symposium for Women Policy Makers was held April 22-23 at the Clarion Hotel in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. Over 30 women joined NFWL for this weekend of leadership training, networking, and learning. NFWL Board Member Representative Kathy Bernier and NFWL Wisconsin State Director Representative Melissa Sargent graciously hosted the event. Several NFWL Board Members attended as well, including 2016 NFWL Chair Representative Helene Keeley (DE), Chair-Elect Senator Carrie Ruud (MN), and Chair of Membership Freeholder Serena DiMaso (NJ).

Keynote Speakers: Jen Theisen of 5ive for Women, and Jodi Emerson of Fierce Freedom

Sponsors: Walmart and Xcel Energy




2015 Wisconsin Spring Symposium

NFWL Board Member & Wisconsin State Representative Kathy Bernier Speaking on a panel

On June 5 -6, 2015, 45 women from across Wisconsin gathered in Eau Claire for the 2015 Wisconsin Spring Symposium, hosted by NFWL Wisconsin State Director Representative Kathy Bernier. The Spring Symposium for Women Policy Makers featured a variety of panels and interactive experiences, building a weekend program focused on leadership development.

Speakers: NFWL Board Member & Minnesota State Senator Carrie Ruud, Wisconsin Lieutenant Governor Rebecca Kleefisch, President of Wisconsin Women’s Health Foundation & former First Lady Sue Ann Thompson, & Wisconsin Public Defender Kelli Thompson

Sponsors: Walmart and Xcel Energy