ICMA University / Leadership Development / Harvard Kennedy School Senior Executive Program

Scholarship Opportunity: Harvard Kennedy School Senior Executives in Local Government

ICMA, through the generosity of our strategic partners, The Ferguson Group and eCivis, offered two (2) scholarships to ICMA members to attend the Harvard Kennedy School Senior Executives in State and Local Government program.  

ICMA Congratulates the 2017 Scholarship Recipients

Kimiko Black Gilmore
Assistant City Manager
Kansas City, MO


David Ellis, ICMA-CM
Deputy County Manager
Wake County, NC

Special Thanks to The Ferguson Group and eCivis for funding these scholarships.


Applications were accepted November 1, 2016-January 31, 2017: APPLICATIONS ARE NO LONGER BEING ACCEPTED.

2017 Program Dates:  June 5-23 or July 10-28    

The Harvard Senior Executive program is a unique opportunity to challenge conventional thinking, thought processes, and the values that drive leadership decisions.  It’s an opportunity for senior level city and county managers and assistants to experience personal and professional renewal. Participants step away from the daily routine for 3 weeks, engage their intellect and hearts with other executives in team efforts to resolve tough issues and renew the commitment to their life’s work. 

The scholarships, awarded by ICMA, cover the $12,400 tuition fee.  The scholarship recipient will need to cover their own travel expenses.   

Through the generosity of ICMA Strategic Partners, The Ferguson Group and eCivis,  ICMA is able to once again offer full-scholarships (travel not included) to two (2) ICMA members.  The Ferguson Group has sponsored one scholarship per year since 2011.  eCivis joined them last year in sponsoring a scholarship to enable an additional ICMA member to attend the program. 

Application period has closed. Submit both applications by January 31, 2017.  Applications received after this date will not be considered.  Applications should be sent to ICMA to flittky@icma.org (do not send applications to Harvard). Announcement of this year’s scholarship recipient will be made in March 2017. 


Scholarship Criteria

1.    At least three years of membership in ICMA. 

2.    Senior executive experience defined as serving as a city, county, or town manager or assistant manager.

3.    A demonstrated commitment to the local government management profession . Evidence of such a commitment includes but is not limited to service to ICMA, state or other professional associations;  contributions to the body of knowledge about current issues through writing or teaching about local government issues; support for the ICMA Fund for Professional Management; consistent career professional development; attainment of the ICMA Credentialed Manager designation (desired, but not required).

4.    Exemplary leadership and service to local government. Awards and recognition for programmatic success and leadership and/or recognition by leadership within the organization or community for significant contributions help to define exemplary leadership and service.

5.    Resources to pay for travel.

6.    Prior approval of the employer to participate in the program. 

7.    Successful completion of the application including a statement of the most significant strategic challenges in your work and how participation in this program will help address those challenges; description of immediate and long-term career goals and how attending this program help achieve them;

8.     The successful candidate agrees to fulfill any post session requirements as designed by the committee intended to contribute to the advancement of leadership, the profession and its body of knowledge.

9.    The scholarship recipient is expected to write an article on his/her experience at the Senior Executives in Local Government Program for ICMA’s newsletter and for use on the ICMA website.  As well, the recipient is strongly encouraged to attend the ICMA 103rd annual conference in October in San Antonio/Bexar County, Texas.

For more information on the application process, please contact Felicia Littky, Harvard Kennedy School Scholarship Program Manager, via email at: flittky@icma.org.



Peter Agh, ICMA member, Slovakia and Heather Worthington, Deputy County Manager, Ramsey County, MN- 2016 scholarship recipients

Norton Bonaparte, City Manager, Sanford, FL- 2015 scholarship recipient

Gregory Doyon, City Manager, Great Falls, MT-2014 scholarship recipient

Karen E. Pinkosrecipient of the 2012 scholarship, Assistant City Manager, City of El Cerrito, CA

"I am grateful to ICMA and The Ferguson Group for giving me the honor of attending the Harvard Kennedy School Senior Executive Program.  The experience at HKS was without a doubt the best learning experience of my life.  While I was completely immersed in all the educational opportunities the program had to offer, I found that I learned just as much about myself, my perspectives, and my values--both professionally and personally.  The program completely validated for me the role of government and the local government management profession, and I am more steadfast than ever that the public service is the most rewarding, valuable, and important work one could ever do." 


Peter E. Auger, City Manager, City of Auburn Hills, MI

“I would recommend the Harvard Senior Executive Program for city manager’s and think the scholarship opportunities make it even more attractive. I found the experience very challenging and also personally and professionally rewarding. By attending KSG I am able to better articulate my beliefs and philosophies and my networking capability exploded which has created more public value to the community I represent.”


Dale E. Iman, City Manager, City of Fayetteville, NC

“The Harvard Senior Executive Program was by far the most thought provoking and educational leadership program that I’ve had the pleasure of attending.  The program provided me with lessons in leadership that I use every day in my professional life.  Invaluable lessons that I will continue to use throughout the remainder of my life.” 

Funded by ICMA Strategic Partners

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