Former NH House Speaker Norelli Named Perkin Bass Visitor

The Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences has announced that former Speaker of the New Hampshire House Terie Norelli, who now leads the New Hampshire Women’s Foundation, will be the third Perkins Bass Distinguished Visitor for the 2015-2016 academic year.

“I'm really looking forward to coming to Dartmouth as Perkins Bass Visitor and engaging with the next generation coming up,” Norelli says. “I think that younger people are less interested in all the conflict we see in politics today and more interested in working together to find solutions. And quite frankly, I think women often have a more collaborative approach that will be reinforced by a younger generation that already has that mindset.”

Norelli was the first Democratic woman to lead the New Hampshire House. During her tenure in leadership, from 2007 to 2014, she worked to pass marriage equality and three state budgets, and was a leader of the bipartisan negotiations that led to the passage of Medicaid expansion in the state.

Gov. Maggie Hassan—who was serving in the New Hampshire Senate when Norelli took on the role of House speaker and was governor for the Medicaid expansion debate and passage of a bipartisan budget—applauded Norelli's ability to work across the aisle for the good of her district and the people of New Hampshire.

“During her three terms as speaker, she worked to make the House more open and transparent while ensuring a fair process and a voice for all,” says Hassan, a member of Dartmouth’s board of trustees. “Terie’s depth of knowledge and experience will make her a great asset to the Dartmouth community as the Perkins Bass Visitor and will leave a lasting impact on students that will help them learn what it takes to be a leader in public service.”

Andrew Samwick, director of the Rockefeller Center, says, “It is our privilege this year to have Terie Norelli as our Perkins Bass Visitor. Her depth of legislative experience and focus on civility and dialogue comes at a time when the Dartmouth community looks for exactly that type of leadership model. Her involvement with the center this year will afford students a real opportunity to meet and engage with an exceptional leader.”

Norelli’s Perkins Bass schedule will begin Oct. 22 with a visit to Rockefeller Center Associate Director Ronald Shaiko’s class “Public Policy 45: Introduction to Public Policy Research.” On Jan. 8, Norelli will participate in a panel discussion as part of the Rockefeller Leadership Fellows program, and she will deliver the Perkins Bass public lecture in February. Then, in spring 2016, Norelli and the Rockefeller Center will coordinate a public program co-sponsored with the Women’s Foundation.

As Dartmouth’s third Perkins Bass Visitor, Norelli follows former Gov. John Lynch and former New Hampshire Supreme Court Chief Justice John Broderick.

“I'm incredibly honored to be named and to be recognized in this way. I know I am the third, but I'm the first woman, and I'm happy to join the two Johns in this role,” Norelli says.

“I don't know whether it was on purpose or by happenstance, but now they will be able to say they have covered all three branches of government,” Norelli says. “And I’m happy to be the representative of the most important branch as we talk about ways that government can and should work for the people.”

The Perkins Bass Visitor program is supported by the Perkins Bass 1934 Fund, which was established in April 2012. The fund also supports internships for Dartmouth students working in public affairs in New Hampshire.

Named for longtime New Hampshire U.S. Congressman Perkins Bass, Dartmouth Class of 1934, the distinguished visitors program invites a New Hampshire citizen who has made outstanding contributions in government to share experiences with the Dartmouth community.

This article, written by Bill Platt, originally appeared in Dartmouth Now on September 22nd, 2015.