Ballard new president of National Black Caucus of State Legislators

State Rep. Barbara Ballard, a KU staff member, has been elected president of the National Black Caucus of State Legislators. The organization represents more than 50 million Americans.

Barbara Ballard

Ballard, associate director for civic programming and public outreach at the Dole Institute of Politics, was elected Dec. 3 to a two-year term at the organization’s conference in Atlanta. She was previously vice president. The nonpartisan organization includes more than 600 legislators from 45 states, the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Ballard has been a member of the Kansas House of Representatives since 1992, representing Lawrence's 44th District. She is a member of the Appropriation, Social Services Budget, Transportation and Legislative Educational Planning committees. She also serves on the House Leadership Team. She has been a member of several policy committees with the National Black Caucus of State Legislators, including the Education and Youth Committee and Higher Education Committee, and served as the rules chair.

KU Employees in Legislature

  • Marci Francisco, senator for Kansas’ 2nd District since 2004, is a space analyst for the Center for Sustainabilitiy.
  • Kathy Wolfe Moore, business director at KU Hospital, was recently elected representative for Kansas’ 36th District.

Ballard said her primary goal as president will be “introducing and expanding on policies that are important to our constituency. Our policy resolutions are sent to the president and various entities. We will continue to meet with Congress and have our presence on Capitol Hill and the districts we represent.”

The National Black Caucus of State Legislators represents more than 50 million Americans of all ethnicities. The organization tracks legislation at state and federal levels and provides its members with information on policy initiatives. The organization regularly passes policy legislation that impacts federal and state policy.

During her time in the Kansas Legislature, Ballard has helped pass legislation leading to a comprehensive transportation plan and the provision of aging and mental health services. She was the first black member elected to the House Leadership Team and has been Democratic caucus chair for more than a decade.

Ballard has been at KU since 1980. Before serving in her current role, she was associate vice provost for student success, an associate dean and director of the Emily Taylor Women’s Resource Center.

“It’s an honor and a privilege to serve as president of the National Black Caucus of State Legislators,” Ballard said. “I look forward to working with my colleagues and representing Kansas through this great organization.”

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Susan Mercer, associate director, Institute for Policy and Social Research
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