About : Distinguished Alumni
In addition to outstanding leadership abilities and a strong commitment to volunteer work, the student delegates rank academically in the top one percent of their states among high school juniors and seniors. Now more than 5,500 strong, alumni of the program continue to excel and develop impressive qualities that are often directed toward public service.
Among the many distinguished alumni are: Senator Susan Collins, the first delegate to be elected U.S. Senator; Senator Cory Gardner, the second delegate to be elected to the U.S. Senate and the first delegate to be elected to the U.S. House of Representatives; former Chief Judge Robert Henry, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit; former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, the first delegate to be elected governor; former Ambassador to West Germany Richard Burt, and former presidential advisors Thomas “Mack” McLarty and Karl Rove. Additional notables include former Lt. Governor of Idaho David LeRoy, former President of the Progressive Policy Institute Robert Shapiro, military officers, members of state legislatures, Foreign Service officers, top congressional staff, healthcare providers and university educators.
Senator Susan Collins (USSYP 1971 – ME)
Senator Susan M. Collins was elected to the United States Senate in 1996 from the state of Maine. She has earned a national reputation as a thoughtful, effective legislator, who works across party lines to seek consensus on our nation’s most important issues. Senator Collins is the 15th woman in history to be elected to the Senate in her own right. Senator Collins is ranking member and former chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, which has jurisdiction over the Department of Homeland Security and is the Senate’s chief oversight committee. She also serves on the Armed Services Committee and is a member of the Special Committee on Aging. Previously, she served for six years on the Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions. Senator Collins was also the first freshman Senator ever to lead the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations.
Senator Cory Gardner (USSYP 1993 – CO)
Senator Cory Gardner was elected the United States Senate in 2015, becoming the second USSYP alumnus to serve in the United States Senate. He served as a USSYP Senate Co-Chair for the first time in 2016. Prior to coming to the Senate, he became the first USSYP alumnus to serve in the United States House of Representatives when he was sworn in in 2010. He has served in the Colorado state legislature where he created the Colorado Clean Energy Authority and was selected by his colleagues as the Colorado House minority whip. In the Senate, he continues to pursue common sense energy policy as a member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resource Committee. In addition, Senator Gardner serves on the Foreign Relations Committee, the Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, and the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee. He serves as chairman of the Subcommittee on East Asia, the Pacific, and International Cybersecurity Policy. Senator Gardner is a fifth-generation Coloradoan with family roots dating back to 1886.
Chief Judge Robert H. Henry (USSYP 1971 – OK)
Judge Henry was nominated by President Clinton and confirmed by the Senate in May 1994 to serve as a judge for the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. He served as chief judge from 2008 – 2009 when he was named as the 17th president and CEO of Oklahoma City University, a role he held until his retirement in 2018. His career also includes being elected a state representative in the Oklahoma House of Representatives and the appointment of State Attorney General for Oklahoma. Judge Henry’s undergraduate and law degree both were received from the University of Oklahoma. He is a regular speaker during the United States Senate Youth Program, usually launching the official speaking roster at the Monday morning session, giving the students special insight to the judicial branch on the day they visit the Supreme Court.
Governor Chris Christie (USSYP 1980 – NJ)
Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie was sworn in as his state’s 55th governor on January 19, 2010. Previously Governor Christie was named U.S. Attorney for the District of New Jersey in 2002. As the chief federal law enforcement officer in New Jersey , Governor Christie earned praise from leaders in both parties and drew national attention for his efforts in battling political corruption, corporate crime, human trafficking, gangs, terrorism and polluters. His office amassed an impressive record – winning convictions or guilty pleas from over 130 public officials, both Republican and Democrat – without losing a single case. Governor Christie holds an undergraduate degree from University of Delaware and attended Seton Hall University School of Law and is the first USSYP alumnus to be elected a governor.
Ambassador Richard Burt (USSYP 1965 – UT)
Ambassador Richard Burt is a managing partner at McLarty Associates. Before joining Kissinger McLarty Associates in April 2007, Ambassador Burt was Chairman of Diligence LLC, a commercial information and security services firm based in Washington, D.C., London, and Miami. He was United States ambassador to the Federal Republic of Germany from 1985-1989 and was stationed in Germany while working for the State Department as assistant secretary. While at the State Department, Ambassador Burt was director of Politico-Military Affairs, assistant secretary for European and Canadian Affairs, and chief negotiator for the Strategic Arms Reduction Talks (START) with the former Soviet Union from 1989-1991.
Thomas F. “Mack” McLarty, III (USSYP 1964 – AR)
Thomas F. “Mack” McLarty, III (born June 14, 1946) is a prominent Arkansas business and political leader and former White House chief of staff for U.S. President Bill Clinton. He is the chairman of McLarty Associates, as well as chief executive officer of the McLarty Companies. McLarty was born in Hope, Arkansas and graduated from the University of Arkansas in 1969. He has a distinguished record of business leadership and public service, including various roles advising three presidents: Jimmy Carter, George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton. McLarty worked with President Carter as a member of the Democratic National Committee and was appointed to the National Petroleum Council and the Council on Environmental Quality. He served as White House chief of staff to President Bill Clinton from 1993 until 1994 and as Clinton’s special envoy for the Americas. He also served for five years on the National Economic Council.
Karl Christian Rove (USSYP 1969 – UT)
Karl Christian Rove (born December 25, 1950) was deputy chief of staff to President George W. Bush until August 31, 2007. He headed the Office of Political Affairs, the Office of Public Liaison, and the White House Office of Strategic Initiatives. Since leaving the White House, Rove has worked as a political analyst and contributor for Fox News, Newsweek, and the Wall Street Journal. For most of his career prior to his employment at the White House, Rove was a political consultant almost exclusively for Republican candidates. Rove’s election campaign clients have included George W. Bush (2000 and 2004 presidential elections, 1994 and 1998 Texas gubernatorial elections), Senator John Ashcroft (1994 U.S. Senate election), Bill Clements (1986 Texas gubernatorial election), Senator John Cornyn (2002 U.S. Senate election), Governor Rick Perry (1990 Texas Agriculture Commission election), and Phil Gramm (1982 U.S. House and 1984 U.S. Senate elections).