Leadership Development Programs

ICMA University invites you to discover a range of leadership development programs for every level of your career.

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Take your career to the highest levels with ICMA University Leadership Development Programs

If you're ready for personal change...if you're ready to assume senior leadership and take the lead, if you are senior leadership and looking to recharge your career, ICMA University invites you to discover a range of leadership development programs for every level of your career.

These programs offer participants interactive learning, superlative instructors, networking with colleagues, and engaging discussions of key management and leadership issues. Participants will enhance their leadership and management skills while forming a collegial learning community with their peers. Enrollment in these programs is limited to foster small group learning communities of future leaders.

Local Government Management Fellowship  

A highly competitive career-development opportunity, the LGMF program is for recent MPA/MPP graduates looking for their first job in local government management. Fellows are selected through a competitive process and placed in one- and two-year full-time management-track local government positions, shaped by direct mentorship under senior government leaders and rotational assignments. Positions are limited annually based on the number of host governments available to fund positions. This is an annual fellowship program with a fall application process for spring/summer placement.

Emerging Leaders Development Program   

The Emerging Leaders Development Program (ELDP) is a two-year program featuring completion of the ICMA Essential Management Skills Certificate, a credentialed manager to serve as a mentor, and a Management Application Project participants design to demonstrate what they have learned. Open to those who are new to the local government profession or within their first three years of local government management.

Leadership ICMA  

Leadership ICMA is a highly competitive and intensive two-year program designed for early career members (aspiring Credentialed Managers) who have at least three years of senior management experience in local government or a related field. This program is designed to cultivate key leadership competencies needed for success at all levels of local government management. Year two culminates in the completion of a peer assistance project designed to apply what has been learned.

Mid-Career Managers Institute 

The Mid-Career Manager Institute’s (MCM) overall objective is to enhance and develop participants’ leadership abilities and effectiveness. This is accomplished by providing: broader understanding of their responsibilities as leaders; perspective on some of the critical leadership and management issues facing mid-career managers; and understanding and awareness of concepts and techniques relevant to local government management.

Local Government 101 Online Certificate Program 

LG 101 is a five-course (15-session) online certificate program, featuring completion of the ICMA Professional Certificate in Local Government Management. This interactive program goes back to the basics – grounding local government professionals in those key skills and practices that are the foundation of becoming an effective local government manager. Taught by experienced managers and local government experts, this certificate program is designed to impart real-life experience, best practices, and sound advice in the areas most important to a manager’s day-to-day role.

Local Government 201 Online Certificate Program

LG 201 is a five-course (15-session) online certificate program, designed to help new and mid-career managers, assistant managers, and even career-changers new to local government, go beyond the basics and gain a deeper understanding of key focus areas in local government management. This interactive certificate program is taught by a team of seasoned local government managers and experts, and moves beyond theory and focuses on sharing experiences of how the job actually gets done. Topics include effective communication, public safety, building community, organizational development, and leadership.

Voluntary Credentialing Program

The ICMA Voluntary Credentialing Program is a means of defining and recognizing an individual ICMA member who is a professional local government manager qualified by a combination of education and experience, adherence to high standards of integrity, and an assessed commitment to lifelong learning and professional development. Managers are recognized by ICMA through a peer review credentialing process, and this self-directed program offers an opportunity for interested ICMA members to quantify the unique expertise they bring to their communities.

Legacy Leaders 

The Legacy Leaders program honors credentialed managers who coach the next generation and support their professional development and membership in ICMA. Become a Legacy Leader by sponsoring a member of MCMI, Leadership ICMA, ELDP, or by bringing a new member to ICMA.


Additional Development Programs for Credentialed Managers and other senior managers:

ICMA Leadership Academy

An intensive 5-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; initiative, risk taking, vision, creativity, and innovation.

The Athenian Project

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.

ICMA Gettysburg Leadership Institute  

Each spring or summer, the highly-rated ICMA Gettysburg Leadership Institute is held in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, starting with dinner on Wednesday night and ending on Friday evening. Participants stay at the historic Gettysburg Hotel. The program is limited to 30 local government executives--with special consideration given to ICMA Credentialed Managers and Candidates--who meet to study the leadership lessons of Gettysburg and join colleagues in an exploration of personal leadership, organizational effectiveness, disaster management, and the lessons of history. Much of the program takes place on the battlefield itself. 

ICMA Williamsburg Leadership Institute  

Each fall, local government executives gather in the Revolutionary City to become a citizen of Colonial Williamsburg and engage for three days in a highly interactive leadership study that contrasts the core values of the founding fathers (who maintained continuity of purpose during times of civil unrest and social upheaval) with today’s turbulent times. The program is limited to 30, with special consideration given to ICMA Credentialed Managers and Candidates.

Leadership lessons begin as you talk with fellow citizen Thomas Jefferson, and continue with first-hand experiences, including time in George Wythe’s classroom, of the political and cultural unrest as our nation was formed.


ICMA Sets the Leadership Standard

An invigorated effort is underway to set the leadership standard for professional local government management. Read more.


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