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ICMA Strategic Plan

The ICMA Strategic Plan was approved by the ICMA Executive Board in February 2017 after ICMA members completed a two-year strategic planning process.

The ICMA Executive Board approved the ICMA Strategic Plan at its February 2017 meeting. The strategic plan was developed by a 40-member Strategic Planning Task Force chaired by Sheryl Sculley, city manager of San Antonio, Texas, and Vice-Chair Lee Worsley, executive director of the Triangle J Council of Governments in North Carolina.

You can read more of the highlights including the environmental scan and details about the initiatives here in this summary. Or download the entire strategic plan here


A Message From ICMA Executive Director Marc Ott



To advance professional local government through leadership, management, innovation, and ethics.


To be the leading association of local government professionals dedicated to creating and sustaining thriving communities throughout the world. 

ICMA Core Beliefs - We Believe In

  1. Public Service: including the stewardship of democratic principles and the efficient and transparent use of public resources
  2. Ethics: as the core of professionalism in local government leadership and management as outlined in the ICMA Code of Ethics
  3. Council-Manager Form of Government and Professional Management: as the preferred local government structure
  4. Equity and Inclusion: ensuring that local governments are inclusive and mirror the diversity in communities
  5. The Continuous Pursuit of Excellence: including professional development, life-long learning, networking, capacity building, knowledge sharing, and engagement
  6. Stewardship: balancing resources including people, financial, social capital, and environmental so that communities are better than we found them
  7. Leadership: developing leadership capacity and attracting and developing future generations of leaders.  

Strategic Initiatives: Advancing the Priorities of Envision ICMA

Envision ICMA-Icons


Member Benefits and Growth

ICMA will maintain an organizational priority to grow and retain a network of connected professionals around the world; will offer increased opportunities and resources that encourage local governments to hire people of diverse backgrounds; and provide support for all career stages, globally.


Learning Community

ICMA will strengthen its global presence with international affiliates and through its program offerings; deliver learning opportunities to help professionals do their jobs well and stay updated on skills they need to succeed and grow; and develop a mechanism for mutual exchange of best practices to provide members with opportunities to engage, learn, and expand their skills to meet challenges faced by their communities.

Envision - Future Ready

Thought Leadership and Resource Network

ICMA will represent the interests of local government in public policy discussions; design and deliver resources and leadership and professional development programs that prepare members to address the important trends, drivers, and issues affecting their communities; and capitalize on all forms of content and delivery methods to reach audiences, no matter their location.

Envision - Valued Organization

Advocacy and Outreach

ICMA will engage with the next generation of professional managers and promote the value of the profession by expanding outreach; leverage technology to meet the varying content needs of members and stakeholders; and continue to provide the tools members need to supercharge their job searches and their careers.


Governance and Operations

ICMA will streamline internal processes to ensure compliance with policies, increase efficiency, and minimize financial and legal risks; attract and retain outstanding, motivated, and diverse staff; ensure that governance practices align with organizational goals and beliefs; and continue to support a range of viable business lines to diversity the Association's revenue stream.



2017 Envision ICMA Strategic Plan - Full Report

2017 Envision ICMA Strategic Plan - Summary


If you have feedback, we want to hear from you! Share your thoughts and ideas about the future of ICMA and the strategic plan by joining the conversation on Twitter using #EnvisionICMA.

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