Twelve U.S. Mayors Join 2023 New Mayors Cohort

2023 New Mayors Cohort members pose for a photo in front of the Wisconsin State Capitol Building in Madison on May 18. Left to right: Mayors Donya Sartor (Jonesboro, GA); Jaime Kinder (Meadville, PA); Nicole Brown (Ypsilanti, MI); Hollie Rogin (Lyons, CO); Heidi Lueb (Tigard, OR); Julia Arata-Fratta (Fitchburg, WI); Charles Maughan (Corvallis, OR); Satya Rhodes-Conway (Cohort Host-Madison, WI); Carmen Montano (Milpitas, CA); April Graves (Brooklyn Center, MN); Hollies J. Winston (Brooklyn Park, MN); Burney Jenkins (Georgetown, KY); and Russell Stroud (Goshen, AR).

Last month, the Mayors Innovation Project brought together newly elected mayors from across the country for its 2023 New Mayors Cohort. Held May 17-19 in Madison, WI, the 12 participating mayors attended sessions on a variety of topics and heard insights from former cohort participants on their experiences in the program as new mayors.

Now in its fourth year, the New Mayors Cohort offers selected first-term mayors the opportunity to join a small group leadership development program informed by current and former mayors, with outreach and curriculum designed to primarily serve mayors who are “firsts” in their respective cities, including first mayors of color, first woman mayors, and first LGBTQ+ mayors. The cohort is designed to offer new skills while creating opportunities to highlight the leadership and accomplishments of cohort participants.

Facilitated by Martha Pellegrino of Brava Point LLC, the 2023 cohort featured sessions on equitable leadership and priority setting, and communications and time management skills to support effective leadership. Guest mayors included Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway of Madison, WI, this year’s host and participant in the organization’s first New Mayors Cohort in 2019, along with former program participants Mayor Nikylan Knapper of Maplewood, MO; Mayor Sangeetha Rayapati of Moline, IL; and Mayor Kim Norton of Rochester, MN.

“Across the country, mayors are leading creative solutions on every issue, from potholes to generational poverty,” said Katya Spear, managing director of the Mayors Innovation Project. “The New Mayors Cohort celebrates the leadership of newly elected leaders and offers tools to help advance their agendas while providing a peer support network to help sustain through the challenges of this very unique role.”

Over the coming months, cohort members will meet virtually with other current and former mayors to share experiences and identify solutions to their unique challenges as mayors in their first terms aiming to advance solutions that center equity, sustainability, and democracy.

This year’s national cohort includes:

  • Mayor Julia Arata-Fratta ∙ Fitchburg, WI
  • Mayor Nicole Brown ∙ Ypsilanti, MI
  • Mayor April Graves ∙ Brooklyn Center, MN
  • Mayor Burney Jenkins ∙ Georgetown, KY
  • Mayor Jaime Kinder ∙ Meadville, PA
  • Mayor Heidi Lueb ∙ Tigard, OR
  • Mayor Charles Maughan ∙ Corvallis, OR
  • Mayor Carmen Montano ∙ Milpitas, CA
  • Mayor Hollie Rogin ∙ Lyons, CO
  • Mayor Donya Sartor, PhD ∙ Jonesboro, GA
  • Mayor Russell Stroud ∙ Goshen, AR
  • Mayor Hollies J. Winston ∙ Brooklyn Park, MN

To learn more about the 2023 New Mayors Cohort, visit



The Mayors Innovation Project is a national learning network for mayors committed to shared prosperity, environmental sustainability, and efficient democratic government. We offer high-quality content that emphasizes innovative, actionable solutions and prioritizes peer exchange.


Brava Point navigates leaders to success by co-creating thoughtful strategies, clear communications, and engaged teams. Brava Point invests in people and systems to make racial and gender equity the norm, not the exception.