ICMA Priorities

ICMA has identified these core initiatives to support and enhance the local government management profession.

FY2017 Program PrioRities

In addition to the fundamental services and resources ICMA offers its members and others interested in advancing its mission, each year the ICMA Executive Board establishes program priorities that are consistent with the strategic plan. The approved fiscal year 2017 priorities include the following:   

Advocating for Professional Management

ICMA’s Future of Professional Management fund helps advocate for professional local government management, supports the adoption and retention of the council-manager form of government, raises public awareness about the profession, and inspires a new generation of future local government leaders.

Diversity and Inclusiveness

ICMA and our members are committed to ensuring that local governments and the organization reflect the diversity of the communities we serve.  To build a more diverse membership, ICMA is organized around programs to introduce the profession to students; offer a Management Fellows Program and robust professional development opportunities and build stronger relationships with state and affiliate organizations.

Global Focus

Local government practitioners around the world share ideas and leverage each others' experience through ICMA's International outreach. With dedicated centers in China, India, Mexico and through affiliates in more than 30 countries, ICMA is able to carry out its mission of creating excellence in local governance worldwide.


A key priority is to provide our members and those new to the profession of local government management with the tools to succeed as leaders. Our professional development programs will expand in this area and will feature a new Local Government 101 Certificate program in addition to enhancing other areas of our Leadership Development programs.

Next Gen Initiatives

With a generation of local government leaders heading into retirement, ICMA’s is focused on getting the next generation into the leadership pipeline. Awareness, coaching and mentoring along with specific development programs are part of the Next Generation Initiatives created to attract a wide and diverse group of people into the local government management profession.

Performance Management and Analytics

Because performance metrics are so important to local government decision making, ICMA has long advocated for collecting and analyzing data to improve services and processes. ICMA has gone a step further and encouraged communities to compare metrics with one another and to share effective management practices that have yielded improvements. ICMA provides a rich array of resources on the topic to assist local governments in their performance management activities.


ICMA has gathered more data on local governments than any organization except the federal government in order to help local governments around the world deploy best practices. ICMA’s survey research topics include sustainability, health care benefits for local government employees, contracting for service delivery, economic development, e-government, 311/CRM systems, disaster mitigation, and labor-management relations.  Our research drives our thought leadership content which is shared through a wide-range of channels designed to take local government to the next level. 

Sustainable Communities

Creating more sustainable, livable, and resilient communities is at the heart of local government leadership and management. ICMA's Center for Sustainable Communities focuses its expertise on achieving these goals in every piece of work we do with local governments and stakeholders.