(Pittsburgh) August 2, 2016 Allegheny County Controller Chelsa Wagner has been chosen as one
of 25 members of the Governing Institute’s Women in Government Leadership Program for 2017, which
brings together outstanding elected women leaders from across the nation to acknowledge their contributions,
provide leadership development, and mentor the next generation of women leaders to run for office.
More than 125 women were nominated for the Class of 2017. The class was selected based
on career and educational accomplishments, recommendations, a commitment to actively participate,
and the goal of seating a diverse class in a number of categories, according to the Governing Institute.
“The women in the Class of 2017 are among the most influential and devoted elected
leaders in state and local government,” said Julia Burrows, director of the Governing Institute,
a three-year-old initiative focused on improving state and local government performance
and strengthening public-sector innovation, leadership and citizen engagement. “Each year,
the program adds to a national collaborative, with 25 new members who establish deep friendships,
support their respective campaigns and recruit future female candidates. The common goals
of gender parity and better governance forge a bond that rises above partisanship
and will pay dividends for literally generations into the future.”
The Women in Government Leadership Program Class of 2017 includes women
from 19 different states holding a variety of elected offices in state and local government.
The 25 women in the program’s new class will be profiled in the February 2017 issue of
Governingmagazine and will participate in Governing events throughout the coming year.
“It is a great honor to be chosen to be among such a select group of women leaders,
including statewide officials, state legislators, and a variety of local officeholders,”
Wagner said. "I’m especially pleased to be joined in this group by my former colleague in the
Pennsylvania House of Representatives, Cherelle Parker, now a member of the Philadelphia City Council.”
“This will be an opportunity to interface with other elected officials to gain new perspectives on
my work for the citizens of Allegheny County, and to identify ways to build the influence
of women in government, which is still sorely lacking,” she continued.
Wagner, 39, took office as Allegheny County Controller in 2012, the first woman to hold that office.
She oversees annual expenditures of $1.5 billion by Pennsylvania’s second-largest local government
and is committed to transparency, efficiency, accountability and innovation in County government.
As Controller, Wagner made her office the first known public office in Western Pennsylvania to provide
paid family leave, an example which was followed by the County administration and the City of Pittsburgh.
Under her leadership, the Controller’s Office has provided close scrutiny of County spending and contracts,
resulting in considerable savings to taxpayers, has modernized its auditing function to meet the
highest professional standards, and implemented technological improvements
that promote efficiency and transparency.
Wagner’s election to the State House of Representatives in 2006 made her one of the
first two women elected to a full term in the House representing the City of Pittsburgh.
Throughout most of her tenure in the House, she was the only woman in the 23-member
Allegheny County House delegation, which again lacks a female member today.
She and her husband reside with their two sons–4 and 7–in the
North Point Breeze neighborhood of Pittsburgh.
More information on the Governing Institute’s Women in Government Leadership Program
and a complete listing of the Class of 2017 is availablehere.
Lou Takacs, Communications Director