State Senator Dave Cogdill is the new chair of the Kenneth L. Maddy Institute at California State University, Fresno. He was elected by the Maddy board on Nov. 5, replacing Don Jackson, who will remain as board treasurer.

The Maddy Institute was established in 1999 by a unanimous vote of the California Legislature in honor of State Senator Ken Maddy of Fresno, whose 28 years of public service demonstrated the successful application of personal integrity, legislative know-how and bipartisanship to the governance of California.

The mission of the Maddy Institute is to “…inspire citizen participation, elevate government performance, provide non-partisan analysis and assist in providing solutions for public policy issues important to the region, state and nation.”

Cogdill replaces Don Jackson, board chair since 2000. Jackson was a key strategist and a close confidant of the late Sen. Ken Maddy and was instrumental in establishing the Maddy Institute. During Jackson’s tenure, the institute has:

  • Raised over $1million in grants, events and programs
  • Created scholarships for over 150 federal and state legislative interns
  • Established The Maddy Report monthly one-hour public affairs TV program
  • Established The Maddy Forum weekly 30-minute public affairs radio program
  • Established The Maddy Daily, an e-newsletter on politics and policy, that currently has over 7,000 subscribers
  • Established The Maddy Associates, a public affairs seminar series that has hosted talks by top state and national public policy minds such as David Walker, comptroller general of the U.S , and Alice Rivlin, former director of the Office of Management and Budget.

“The Maddy Institute would not have become one of the most active public affairs institutes in California without Don’s leadership,” said Fresno State President John D. Welty. “We are grateful that he has agreed to continue to serve as board treasurer.

“We are delighted that Sen. Cogdill will be building on the foundation that Don has laid and ensure that the Maddy Institute will continue to be an important asset not just for Fresno State, but for the region and the state as a whole.”

Cogdill, of Modesto, has spent 10 years in the California Legislature, rising to Senate Minority Leader in 2008. The 14th Senate District which he represents is the same District represented by Sen. Maddy during his time in the Senate.

Cogdill has been lauded for his principled and civil approach to politics. This year, he received the John F. Kennedy Library “Profiles in Courage” Award recognizing his bipartisan work in helping close a $42 billion gap in the state budget.

Cogdill will be retiring from the Senate this year but will remain active in public service. In May, he was appointed by Governor Schwarzenegger to the California Water Commission and in November he was elected Stanislaus County assessor.

“I have always been committed to the Central Valley and I am a firm believer in giving back,” said Cogdill. “As a result, I am honored by this opportunity to continue the work of Sen. Maddy, Don Jackson and the board as we continue to enhance the Maddy Institute as a regional asset and one of the most active and engaged public affairs institutes in the state.”

For more information, contact the institute at 559.278.1133 or or visit