Young Elected Leaders Project

Launched in 2002 with funding from the Pew Charitable Trusts, the Young Elected Leaders Project (YELP) studies and works with young people who run for or hold public office. We provide unique insight into youth representation in U.S. political institutions and study young leaders’ experiences in public office.

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About the Young Elected Leaders Project

The Young Elected Leaders Project is led by Dr. Elizabeth Matto, Research Professor and Acting Director of Eagleton’s Center for Youth Political Participation. The research team includes Graduate Research Assistant George Quinn and Undergraduate Research Assistant Shannon DelGuerico.
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YELP collects data on young people in politics at federal, state, and local level and provides analyses on the age, gender, and racial composition of political bodies in the U.S. Learn more about youth representation on our Data page or follow the links below.

Aresty Research Assistant Program

Through Rutgers’ Aresty Research Center, undergraduate students can apply to join the Young Leaders team for the duration of one academic year. This unique learning experience enables our Aresty students to contribute to ongoing research projects on young people serving in or running for office. The program concludes with a presentation of the students’ research findings at CYPP in addition to their presentation at Aresty’s annual symposium.

Learn more about the Aresty Research since 2018.

Original Report: Political Generation Next

After its launch in 2002, the Young Elected Leaders Project collected data on young elected officials throughout the United States and conducted surveys about their background and leadership experience. In May 2003, young elected leaders (age 35 and younger) were invited to the Eagleton Institute of Politics for a conference on young people serving in office. In 2004, Ruth B. Mandel and Katherine E. Kleeman published the project’s findings in the report titled “Political Generation Next”. The full report can be downloaded here. The key findings of the report are summarized below.

Presidents as Young Elected Leaders

Even the Presidents of the United States had to start somewhere. Check out past Presidents as Young Elected Leaders.

RU Running? Political Campaign Training

RU Running Political Campaign Training 2024

Join the Center for Youth Political Participation for a free workshop about running for office or working on a political campaign. Participants will have the opportunity to hear from and network with young elected officials and campaign operatives from both sides of the aisle. Open to current undergraduate and graduate students.
Registration Required. 

Thursday March 7, 2024 | 5:30PM to 8:00PM | Eagleton Institute of Politics, Woodlawn Mansion, 191 Ryders Lane, New Brunswick, NJ 08901

For more information on RU Running? Political Campaign Training, contact