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Johnson attends Midwestern Governors planning session

By Jeff Rankin
Political science lecturer Robin Johnson is working with the MGA to promote entrepreneurship during its 50th anniversary.

MONMOUTH, Ill.--Monmouth College political science lecturer Robin Johnson recently attended a plenary session of the Midwestern Governors Association (MGA) in Columbus, Ohio.


More than 30 representatives of governmental, industrial and educational institutions from nine states, Washington, D.C.,  and Canada met to plan an agenda celebrating the 50th anniversary of the organization on the theme “Promoting a Positive Midwestern Narrative.” Johnson represented Monmouth College in his capacity of coordinator for its Midwest Matters initiative.


All Midwest governors have been invited to attend the 50th anniversary meeting of the MGA on Sept. 26 in Des Moines, Iowa, at which Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad will present the keynote address. Panel discussions will include a conversation among the governors about progress that is being made, and a focus on developing an interstate entrepreneurial effort throughout the Midwest.


“The Columbus session was essentially a focus group that gathered ideas from all of us on how we might best present an engaging narrative about the Midwest during this anniversary year,” Johnson explained.


Another major activity for the 50th anniversary,  Johnson said, is a video contest titled ‘America’s Smartland: Let the Midwest Surprise You.’ He plans to involve his citizenship students in the contest, the purpose of which is to share with the larger world what makes the region conducive to raising a family, getting an education and starting a business. Information about the contest, which has a deadline of Oct. 15, is available at


A 1980 graduate of Monmouth College, Johnson has been lecturing in the political science department since 2000. He holds a master’s degree in public administration from Western Illinois University and also serves as a political consultant. He has been involved in MC’s Midwest Matters initiative since its launch in 2009, helping to organize forums on Midwest issues and conducting polls on Midwest attitudes.


The MGA is a non-profit, bipartisan organization that brings together governors and their staff to address public policy issues of significance to the region. It seeks to foster regional development and coordinate a regional agenda, while facilitating the exchange of views and experiences on subjects of importance to the people of Midwestern states.