Doug Gaston wins the associate circuit judge's race.

Doug Gaston was awarded the prestigious Toll Fellowship for 2010 by The Council of State Governments at a ceremony in Lexington, Ky.

Forty-two elected officials from across the country convened from Aug. 20-25 for the fellowship conference and award presentations. The Henry Toll Fellowship is one of the nation’s premier leadership awards for state government officials and the most widely recognized one serving all three branches.

Gaston is Texas County associate circuit judge. Before his appointment as judge, Gaston has served as a Missouri state representative, Texas County prosecutor, special assistant U.S. attorney and Missouri deputy state treasurer. He won election in August to a four-year term as associate circuit judge.

Gaston was selected as a Toll Fellow for his outstanding record in public service and in recognition of his abilities as one of the nation’s emerging leaders.

This year’s Toll Fellows class included leaders from 24 states and three U.S.territories. Participants included a secretary of state, district judges, three state supreme court justices, various cabinet officials, six senators and 15 representatives. Previous Toll Fellows have gone on to build careers of great distinction. Toll Fellows alumni currently include four governors, seven lieutenant governors, eight secretaries of state, five members of Congress and a member of President Obama’s cabinet.

The annual weeklong seminar, named in honor of Henry Toll, a Colorado senator who founded CSG in 1933, seeks to empower leaders from all three branches of state government. This year’s dynamic program focused on adaptive leadership, policy development, media and constituent relations, and leadership and institutional changes. The experience gives these leaders perspectives they would not ordinarily obtain during the course of their regular governmental service.

The Council of State Governments, headquartered in Lexington, is the premier multibranch organization forecasting policy trends for the community of states, commonwealths and territories on a national and regional basis. CSG alerts state elected and appointed officials to emerging social, economic and political trends; offers innovative state policy responses to rapidly changing conditions; and advocates multistate problem solving to maximize resources and competitiveness. CSG promotes excellence in decision-making and leadership skills and champions state sovereignty.

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