Washington House Majority Leader Lynn Kessler was awarded the 2010 Excellence in State Legislative Leadership Award at NCSL's Legislative Summit in Louisville, Ky.
The Excellence in State Legislative Leadership Award is presented annually to a leader who has worked to preserve and build public trust in the institution of the state legislature and whose career embodies the highest principles of leadership. Representative Kessler is the first woman to be the sole recipient of this award. Women have previously received the leadership award, but together with a male lawmaker. The award is presented jointly by NCSL and the State Legislative Leaders Foundation.
Representative Kessler is serving her ninth term in the Washington House and has served as majority leader for 12 years. She is retiring at the end of this term.
The Excellence in State Legislative Leadership Award was founded in 1996. The State Legislative Leaders Foundation (SLLF) and NCSL first honored William M. Bulger, former president of the Massachusetts Senate, for his distinguished career in public service and particularly for his commitment to protecting and strengthening the institution of the state legislature. That event was the catalyst for the annual award.
Each year, the winner is selected by an independent, nonpartisan selection committee of legislators, former legislators, scholars and representatives of the two sponsoring organizations. The award is presented at the Legislative Summit of the National Conference of State Legislatures each year