About the Series

What is the Anne B. Anstine Series? When was it founded and why?

In 2001, the Republican National Committee launched the Winning Women: Leadership for the New Century initiative to engage more women in the party as voters, donors and leaders. Christine J. Toretti, CEO of Palladio, LLC and Pennsylvania’s GOP National Committeewoman, accepted the challenge to spearhead this effort in Pennsylvania and established the Anne B. Anstine Excellence in Public Service Series in February 2002.

The Anstine Series is an annual training program for Republican women in Pennsylvania that prepares women to be more effective leaders in government, politics, and in the community. Participants each have a goal to increase their level of involvement in public life as party leaders, elected or appointed officials, as grassroots activists, and/or as community leaders.

Each year a class of talented women representing all regions of Pennsylvania will participate in intensive training sessions over the course of nine months to gain information, tools and skills to enhance their civic and political participation. This executive training program for Republican women is modeled after the successful Richard G. Lugar Excellence in Public Service Series, which began in the state of Indiana in 1990.

How much time do class members spend with the Anstine Series?

Class members participate in 9 required training sessions beginning in September and concluding in June of each year. December is an optional month. Class members travel to different parts of Pennsylvania to attend a training session each month. For seven of the months, the Anstine Class gathers in Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and/or Harrisburg for a one-day training program. Class members typically arrive on Thursday evening for an optional networking dinner and spend Friday from 8am to 4pm participating in a training session. There are two exceptions to this type of schedule. In January, the Anstine Class meets in Harrisburg on a Monday afternoon and concludes by 4pm the next day on Tuesday. Additionally, in May the Anstine Class meets in Washington, DC for 2 ½ days from Tuesday evening through Thursday evening.

How much does the Anstine Series cost a class member?

When accepted to the program, class members pay a one-time $250 participation fee. Some class members have paid this fee personally while others have had this fee paid by their employer or local Republican committee. Additionally, class members are responsible for travel costs to and from the monthly training sessions including parking. The Anstine Series pays for hotel accommodations, meals and other program costs.

How are participants chosen each year for the Anne Anstine Series?

Class members are chosen through a two-tier selection process. First, applicants must submit a written application due June 1st of every program year. The selection committee comprised of board members select finalists from a review of the written applications. Finalists are offered a personal interview with members of the selection committee. Interviews take place in Harrisburg in late July of every year. For an application or more information, contact Bernadette S. Comfort, executive director at 724-463-5110, comfortb@ptd.net or visit our website today at www.pagop4women.org.


Few things exceed your expectations in life. Whatever you think you will gain by participating in the program is not even close to what you will actually gain. . . . The training I have received has given me the confidence, skill set and network I need to make my professional and political dreams come true.
—Mary Ensslin, Class of 2003, Northampton County

The Anne Anstine Series not only gives you the tools to take the next steps in your personal, professional and political careers but gives you the network and support system to elevate yourself to the next level. There are few programs like it in existence today and the value is immeasurable.
–Ashley J. Sciarrotta , Class of 2012, Bucks County

The Anstine Series was for me, more than I expected. The education was great, but the exposure to new opportunities, the networking and camaraderie of the alumnae were unexpected bonuses. I would highly recommend this experience to any woman who wants to go further in politics.
–Sonia Stopperich, Class of 2011, Washington County

The Anstine Program changed my perspective on the political spectrum and took me in places I did not expect to go. It enhanced my abilities, and broadened my horizons. I will always be grateful for the Anstine experience! –Ann Wilson, Class of 2005, Cambria County

The Anstine experience changed the direction of my life and reinforced my commitment to public service. I now am employed by the Federal Government as a member of a Response and Recovery team for disasters, such as Haiti, and am deployed, as needed. Additionally, I work in Washington, D.C. on trade agreements between the United States and Sub Saharan Africa. I could have never accomplished these goals without the leadership skills and encouragement of all the exceptional women in the Anstine program who nurtured, encouraged and guided me along the way. -Judy Mannix, Class of 2009, Philadelphia County

The Anstine program is the greatest gift I have ever received as a woman! I could never have imagined the immense knowledge, experience, networks, and so many other assets I gained as a student devoted to succeeding in the series. My life personally and professionally has been enriched beyond my greatest dreams! –Michelle Griffin Young, Class of 2006, Lehigh County

I have been so impressed with the positive results that we are already seeing in the first ten years with the Anstine Series. The training sessions have been most beneficial for participants. When I talk with class members I can clearly hear the enthusiasm and appreciation they have for the program and what they are gaining as participants.—Karen Deklinski, Deputy Secretary of Public Welfare, Anstine Board Member

Ten years ago we had a vision to engage and prepare Republican women to be leaders in the Party. Today, the results speak for themselves. Over the last decade the Anstine Series has trained a cadre of outstanding women leaders who are making a difference every day for the citizens of this Commonwealth. This program is top notch and I am proud to be a part of it. I look forward to ten more years!

–Robert A. Asher, National Committeeman & Anstine Series Advisory Board Member