ICMA University is proud to announce the launch of two new leadership development programs that directly contribute to providing members with the knowledge and proficiencies needed to change and shape their career and organization. 

The ICMA Leadership Academy is an intensive, five-day program designed to cultivate key competencies needed for successful leadership at all levels of local government management. These competencies include personal leadership; integrity and ethics; team building; advocacy, analytical skills, community building, communication, and media relations; strategic planning; negotiation skills; and initiative, risk taking, vision, creativity, and innovation. The program facilitates networking within the profession and enhances connections between local government managers and ICMA. To apply, ICMA members must have a minimum of three years of senior management experience as a chief administrative officer, deputy, or assistant or an equivalent position in local government or a related field. 

Program Details

  • Application Deadline: February 20, 2020
  • Program Dates: May 17-22, 2020
  • Location: College of Charleston | Charleston, South Carolina
  • Fee: $2,500 plus travel and lodging costs

The ICMA Leadership Academy is the premier local government professional development opportunity for ICMA members. A unique aspect of the Academy is that all who attend share a commitment to the profession and to the ICMA Code of Ethics. You will have significant opportunities for growth professionally and personally.


Leaders are those with a clear understanding of their values and vision. The first step is understanding self and others, the second is to understand content, and the third is to develop the skills you need to meet the challenges of managing in this decade and beyond. The Academy is an investment in yourself as a leader and by your community in its commitment to excellence. -- Felicia Logan, director, ICMA Leadership Development

Learn More About the ICMA Leadership Academy 

The Athenian Project is a one-year journey to transmit yourself, your community, and the local government profession into something greater than it was when you started. The program was designed by tenured ICMA members to provide leadership development that challenges the big issues of the day and provides an opportunity to embrace a personal challenge with a group of like-minded colleagues. To apply, ICMA members must have seven to ten years of continuing service in the public sector.

Program Details

  • Application Deadline: July 1, 2020
  • Program Dates: October 11-16, 2020
  • Location: Airlie House | Warrenton, Virginia
  • Fee: $7,500 includes all instruction, meals, and lodging for October program. Travel not included.

What Others Are Saying About The Athenian Project

The Athenian project “is not a seminar.”  It is a life-affirming opportunity to invest in ourselves, our communities, and each other.  Our year-long cohort has already tackled difficult personal challenges, relying on each other for support and encouragement.  We are also tackling professional challenges, moderating difficult conversations, leading workshops, raising awareness, writing articles, and developing plans. -- Kate Fitzpatrick,  town manager, Needham, Massachusetts

The Athenian Project is a one-year journey where senior professionals come together to deliberate on the Athenian oath but more importantly, to put their longevity in the profession and their knowledge and commitment into developing content and learning to share with other members who are charged with solving societal dilemmas. -- Martha Perego, membership director, ICMA

Most recently it has been my experience with the Athenian project that has reaffirmed and reenergized my passion and commitment to serving my community. This project is going beyond relationships and skill development. We are focusing on real issues that are directly impacting the future of our profession and those choosing to enter or leave based on personal values and beliefs.  We are focusing on how the political climate is directly affecting the local government profession and professionals and the ability to serve our communities. -- Opal Mauldin Jones, city manager, Lancaster, Texas

Learn More About The Athenian Project