Flinn-Brown Academy Facilitators

Maria Harper Marinick speaks with Flinn-Brown Fellows about higher education in Arizona
Maria Harper-Marinick, Ph.D. presents during a Flinn-Brown Academy session.

Flinn-Brown Academy sessions are facilitated by two former state legislators who are leading experts in Arizona policy and politics: Stan Barnes of Copper State Consulting Group and South Mountain Justice of the Peace Rebecca Rios.

Stan Barnes

An Arizona native, Barnes was elected as a Republican to the Arizona House of Representatives in 1988 and served a combined three terms in the Arizona House of Representatives and the Arizona State Senate. He leads Copper State Consulting, a lobbying and public-affairs company, and is a go-to expert on Arizona politics for national and local media. He began his role with Flinn-Brown in 2016.

Rebecca Rios

Also an Arizona native, Rios served in the Arizona Legislature as a Democrat from 1995 to 2023, beginning in the Arizona House of Representatives, where she became the first woman to hold the title as Minority Leader. She is the daughter of Sen. Pete Rios, the first and only Latino president of the state senate. Today, she serves as South Mountain Justice of the Peace. The 2023 Flinn-Brown Academy was her first. 

Additional policy experts co-facilitate individual Academy sessions with Barnes and Rios. These experts participated in the 2023 Flinn-Brown Academy.

  • Eileen Klein | 35th State Treasurer and President Emerita, Arizona Board of Regents
  • Chad Campbell | Chief of Staff, Office of the Governor Katie Hobbs
  • Janice Palmer | Senior Vice President, Government Affairs and Public Policy, Helios Education Foundation
  • Maria Harper-Marinick, Ph.D. | Chancellor, Maricopa Community Colleges (retired); Senior Fellow, College Excellence Program, Aspen Institute
  • Beth Kohler | CEO, Arizona Association of Health Plans
  • Deb Gullett | Former legislator, former CEO, Arizona Association of Health Plans (retired)
  • Elvy Barton** | Water and Forest Sustainability Manager, Salt River Project
  • Sarah Douthit** | Chief Probation Officer, Coconino County Adult Probation
  • Luis Heredia** | District Director, Office of Senator Mark Kelly
  • Daniel Scarpinato | President, Winged Victory Communications
  • The Honorable Stephen Richer |  Recorder, Maricopa County

** Flinn-Brown Fellow

Please contact Jennifer Papworth with any questions.

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