There are many opportunities for you as an ICMA member to use your talents and interests to become engaged in ICMA and support the profession. The level of commitment varies depending on the opportunity you select. Joining a task force is a year-long commitment. Serving as a coach may require an hour a month or a lifelong commitment to the success of your mentee. Review all the opportunities to find your match. The Call for ICMA Member Task Forces and Committees typically opens each year in March.
Committees draw on the skills and interests of a broad cross-section of the ICMA membership to study issues of interest and importance to the organization or to local government in general. They also provide an opportunity for member connection and networking. ICMA committees are primarily those with delegated decision-making authority from the board. They have advisory roles and are ongoing, with staggered terms of members who serve.
The ICMA Executive Board establishes the task forces and committees at its February board meeting. Members are encouraged to volunteer in the spring, and appointments are made by the president-elect in June. New groups usually begin their work at the annual conference in the fall.
Task Force/Committee Member Roles, Expectations, and Responsibilities
Committee volunteers commit to:
- Participate actively on the committee by attending at least one committee meeting per year and letting the chair know if you are not able to attend any meetings. (Members must participate in order to remain on the committee.)
- Follow through on assigned tasks by meeting deadlines, returning phone calls, responding to requests for input via e-mail, etc.
- Respect the opinions of other committee members and the role of the committee chair to build consensus on the specified task.
- Represent the committee to assistants' and managers' associations in your area by attending state or national association meetings, making brief presentations, or writing articles about the committee's work for state or national association newsletters.
Current Committees and Task Forces
The 2022 Annual Conference Evaluation Committee evaluates the ICMA Annual Conference. The committee will meet via conference call prior to the 2022 ICMA Annual Conference and will meet either in person in Portland at the conclusion of the 2022 ICMA Annual Conference on Wednesday, September 22, 2022, or virtually within a few weeks post-conference. Committee members are appointed for a term of one year.
Members must be available to attend conference evaluation committee meetings and the annual conference.
The 2022 Annual Conference Planning Committee plans the education component of the ICMA Annual Conference. The 2022 Annual Conference Planning Committee will meet in Portland during the 2021 ICMA Annual Conference (Date/Time TBD). The 2022 Annual Conference Planning Committee’s main meeting will be held in Columbus, Ohio, in late 2021/early 2022. Committee members will participate on conference calls, as needed, throughout the year. Committee members are responsible for reviewing and scoring session submissions to assist in determining the educational content of the annual conference. Committee members are appointed for a term of one year.
Members must be able to attend committee meetings and the annual conference in person or virtually.
The Graduate Education Committee (ABGE) is a member group that meets jointly with professors of public administration for the purpose of enhancing the education of future local government management professionals. ABGE members are appointed by ICMA's executive director and work hand-in-hand with NASPAA's Local Government Management Education Committee through two subcommittees: Academic Connections and Filling the Pipeline. ABGE members have created a number of useful tools for improving the education of future managers, including Model Internship Guidelines and Guidelines for Managers Who Teach, which can be found at icma.org/teach. The ABGE is made up of about 70 members and usually meets annually at the ICMA conference and holds conference calls throughout the year. Volunteers should be adjunct faculty, guest instructors/lecturers, full-time academics, or otherwise interested in developing the future of the profession and academic/practitioner relations.
The Awards Evaluation Committee reviews and evaluates nominations to ICMA's Local Government Excellence Awards Program and selects recipients for Professional and Program Awards, which are conferred at ICMA’s Annual Conference. The committee is also responsible for the integrity of the program, bears the responsibility for establishing criteria for the evaluation process, and recommends the creation or reorganization of awards.
There are limited appointments to the panel, which is made up of 17 members representing each of ICMA's six regions and includes multiple at-large positions. Panel members serve a three-year term. The committee usually meets at the annual conference to establish a workplan, participates in one or two conference calls per year, and works in committees to review and rate awards. Members should have knowledge and experience in creating and/or implementing local government programs and policies.
The Digital Strategies Committee influences member and prospective member engagement with ICMA through digital platforms such as ICMA.org, social media, etc. The board helps to identify the knowledge-sharing needs of local government professionals and provides feedback on the current member experience and ideas for future applications. Committee members serve as leaders in the icma.org digital community by making active contributions in their areas of expertise and encouraging colleagues to do the same. The board usually meets once in person at the annual conference and at least once by conference call during the year. The board has a maximum of 25 members. Members should have familiarity with websites, metrics (SEO, Google Analytics), ICMA.org; familiarity with social media channels and best practices; willingness to test new applications; willingness to regularly engage with ICMA platforms (website, apps, social media) and serve as an ambassador for member engagement with digital platforms.
The Governmental Affairs and Policy Committee (GAPC) is tasked with reviewing current and proposed federal, and in some cases state, legislative, and judicial action for impacts on local governments. The committee periodically provides feedback to ICMA on a current policy or regulatory issue. The committee is made up of approximately 60 members and usually meets in-person twice annually: at the ICMA Annual Conference and in conjunction with NLC’s March Congressional Cities Conference. Members should have significant experience working with local, state, and federal elected and appointed officials and advocacy groups; be familiar with state and federal legislative and budget processes; and be able to understand and communicate the impacts of proposed legislation and/or pending litigation to local governments.
ICMA Deputies and Assistants Committee (Not in the Call for Volunteers)
ICMA Deputies and Assistants Committee was created for assistant/deputy managers for the purposes of advising ICMA staff overseeing the Assistants’ Program at the annual conference; provide ongoing feedback on a new online toolkit created by the task force; providing feedback to assistant/deputy managers on the Conference Planning Committee; and assisting in the development of resources for members in outreach related to civics education. The committee will accept a total of 30 volunteers. Work will usually occur at an annual meeting at the ICMA conference and throughout the year by phone conference. Volunteers should be assistant/deputy managers or have recently been in that career position.
The Welcome Ambassadors committee utilizes ICMA’s best resource--its current members--to welcome new members to the community. The Welcome Ambassadors’ goal is to provide meaningful, peer-to-peer outreach to members who have recently joined ICMA, with a global focus on members serving in local government and students in MPA programs. The committee consists of approximately 45 representatives from across ICMA’s six regions who meet at the conference and then virtually. Members are asked to contact new members via email or phone; provide feedback to ICMA, including what the needs of the new members are, with an eye toward continually improving the process with which we welcome new members into the ICMA community; and act as an ICMA Ambassador when attending state and regional meetings.
Welcome Ambassadors must be available to complete monthly tasks, participate in quarterly conference calls, have a passion for the profession and a strong knowledge of the value of ICMA membership, along with an interest in expanding their own professional network by interacting with dozens of new members over the course of the year.
The ICMA International Committee serves as an advisory body to the ICMA Executive Board on a range of international matters and carries out an annual charge as defined and described by the board. The committee works to communicate the value of having an international perspective to members, and state and affiliate organizations, and emphasize the “I” in ICMA. The committee works closely with staff to review ongoing relationships with ICMA's international affiliate organizations and reviews staff progress on updating affiliate agreements. The committee also examines ways to ensure that important member-to-member interactions still occur among and between affiliates and ICMA members. The committee supports the implementation of ICMA scholarships and fellowships supporting international work. The committee meets at least twice annually: at the ICMA Annual Conference and at the ICMA International Regional Conference, which is typically held in an international location in the spring in conjunction with one of ICMA's international affiliate organizations meetings. The spring meeting can be held at the ICMA Executive Board meeting, when it is held internationally every three years. The committee consists of 30 individual ICMA members. Each committee member serves for three years. Members from each of ICMA’s international affiliate organizations are natural members of the committee.
Committee members should have international experience, an international focus or an interest in gaining international experience. Attendance at the committee meetings and participation in committee projects and ICMA’s international activities are important factors that will be considered for reappointment after term ends. An active committee member can serve for a second term if recommended by the staff and approved by the ICMA President. A member can serve two terms maximum, except for the chair and vice chair, who can serve longer if appointed again.
ICMA’s Performance Management Committee is charged with helping to advance the practice of performance management in the profession and in individual local governments. Committee members do this by providing advice to ICMA regarding leading practices in performance management and analytics and by encouraging their peers to adopt these practices. The committee of approximately 24 members meets virtually on a quarterly basis and at the ICMA Annual Conference. They also share their knowledge and experience from time to time on specific research questions and serve on conference panels within their states. Appointments are for two-year, renewable terms.
Committee members should be familiar with leading practices in performance management and analytics.
Research and Policy Editorial Committee (Not in the Call for Volunteers)
ICMA has a deep history of generating research and publications that provide insightful, practical, and timely information on the local government profession. The Research and Policy Editorial Committee supports the Research and Development team by helping to inform ICMA's research agenda, promoting ICMA's research activities, and contributing to information products. The advisory group usually convenes annually in person at the ICMA conference and virtually once or twice a year. Throughout the year, members provide feedback on specific research and publication projects. Appointments are for two-year, renewable terms. Members are selected to maintain a diverse mix of demographics and perspectives, and for their ability to provide subject matter expertise on research content and processes.
The committee guides and participates in ICMA’s emerging smart community research, education, and outreach activities. It seeks to address the information and content needs of all ICMA members, from subject matter experts to relative newcomers. The committee of 25 usually meets at the annual conference and quarterly. Appointments are for a three-year term and the goal is to have 60% of the membership composed of subject matter experts and 40% with a keen interest in the topic. In addition to looking at the level of subject matter expertise, the diversity of members will be taken into consideration based on race, ethnicity, gender, small towns, cities, and counties, and international members.
ICMA’s Sustainable Communities Committee (SCAC) supports the advancement of more sustainable, livable, and resilient communities by promoting sustainability as a best practice of local government and a core competency of city and county management; serving as advisors, partners, peer-to-peer mentors, and advocates for creating more sustainable communities; assisting ICMA in expanding its portfolio of sustainability tools and resources, and grant-funded sustainability initiatives; and establishing ties between SCAC and other ICMA advisory committees where there are benefits to both groups, such as the International Committee.
The committee of 20-25 members is appointed by the executive director for two-year terms. The full committee usually meets in-person at the ICMA Annual Conference and quarterly by conference call. Subcommittees appointed by the committee chair meet on an as needed basis to carry out the committee’s work plan. Members should have a demonstrated passion for sustainability and a willingness to contribute content and thought leadership to the profession. An effort will be made to maintain a diverse mix of demographics and career stages.
Task Force to Update the Job Hunting Handbook (New for 2021)
ICMA’s Job Hunting Handbook is designed to help members with their career transitions. The ICMA board appointed a Task Force on Job Hunting Resources to review ICMA’s Job Hunting Handbook and expand its focus to include recent graduates and young professionals as well as experienced managers in the last revision, in 2014. This handbook includes resources for planning a job hunt, finding job vacancies, creating a resume and cover letter, preparing for interviews, negotiating compensation, and more. Volunteers should be familiar with the job search process at any career stage in local government. The ideal task force will be 20-30 members and will be balanced to reflect entry level to CAO searches, in addition to other equity placement goals.
Task Force on Members in Transition (Not in the Call for Volunteers)
The Task Force on Members in Transition will be charged with developing content and guidance for members in transition. This will include a review of the old Notes for Beachcombers manual. The purpose of these materials, which will be online and in e-format, will be to provide MITs with encouragement, support, and information on resources that are all critical to the well-being and success of the member during this difficult period. The ideal task force size will be 30-40 members. Volunteers should have an understanding and an awareness of the challenges faced by members in transition.
Task Force to Update the Manager Evaluation Handbook (Not in the Call for Volunteers)
This handbook is intended to highlight the value of a formal manager evaluation process and to assist local elected officials in the design of an effective evaluation tool. Local government managers and administrators are encouraged to reference and review the handbook with an eye toward working with their elected bodies to develop formal, mutually agreed upon processes for their own evaluations. The guide’s intended audience is governing bodies looking for a template to assist in the annual review of their chief executive. Created in 2013, the resource is up for its first revision. The task force size will be 20-30 members. Volunteers should be familiar with the performance evaluation process for chief executives in local government.
Task Force to Update the Recruitment Guidelines Handbook (Not in the Call for Volunteers)
ICMA’s Recruitment Guidelines Handbook is designed to help councilmembers conduct a successful recruitment process for a new chief executive. While no two jurisdictions require precisely the same qualifications and responsibilities from their chief appointed official, the guide outlines the basis for determining priorities. The handbook includes resources to assist in the process of conducting the recruitment, reviewing applications, identifying and interviewing finalists, negotiating compensation, handling transition, and a summary checklist and timetable. The guide’s primary audience is elected officials managing a recruitment without a search firm, but it can also be a helpful guide for those councils working with a search firm. The guide was last revised in 2011. Volunteers should be familiar with the recruitment and placement process for chief executives in local government, work or have worked with search firms, have experience with a non-recruiter-assisted CAO placement, or be otherwise interested in educating councils on the recruitment and placement process for CAOs. The ideal task force will be 20-30 members.
Veteran's Committee (Not in the Call for Volunteers)
ICMA has a new initiative to support the transition of veterans from public service in the military to local government generally, and local government management. The purpose of this committee, through an advisory role to ICMA’s Executive Director, is to advise ICMA on the development and improvement of programs and services aimed at improving preparation of the next generation of local government managers, and to build better relationships between the veteran community and local governments. Additionally, the committee will advise/support ICMA’s outreach efforts to the active-duty military on programs to help better develop partnerships between installations and communities, and ICMA’s professional development programs supporting installation commanders and deputy commanders.
ICMA’s Veterans’ Committee appointees should have expertise in current content areas, and in helping veterans succeed in their career transitions to local government and integration to ICMA should they enter the profession. Additionally, ICMA seeks representation among the membership from different regions, career positions or job functions and diversity of gender, race, and age. The committee will be 30-50 volunteers to assure strong meeting attendance and development of subcommittees to oversee specific priorities/programs. A military background is not required to serve on the committee, but ICMA seeks to have veterans occupy 50% of the committee roster.