Photo of Bob Turner

About the Program

Former ICMA member James Kean began his career working as an intern for E. Robert "Bob" Turner, while he was city manager of Boulder, Colorado. Turner's local government career spanned several decades and, in addition to Colorado, took him to Oregon, Michigan, California, and Ohio. He also served as president of ICMA in 1973. 

After becoming an assistant and then acting city manager of Boulder, Kean ultimately left local government to become an entrepreneur. He believes that the lessons he learned from his mentor Bob Turner prepared him for a successful career and a life of integrity and passion.

Kean established a $750,000 endowment in Bob Turner’s name to ensure that up to 20 high school and undergraduate students each year have the opportunity to serve a local government as  interns under the guidance of  ICMA member mentors. Kean believes that it is the ICMA Code of Ethics and the core values shared by ICMA members that inspired Turner and others like him to nurture the next generation of local government professionals and establish a legacy of public service leadership.

An important ICMA organizational priority has been to reach students prior to graduate school to introduce them to local government earlier in their educational careers. The Bob Turner Scholars Program makes that objective a reality. By partnering with local governments and the city manager’s office, the program offers an internship experience that not only demonstrates the nuts and bolts understanding of what city managers do, but how they do it—the core values that guide their management practices and inform their decisions. Scholars will benefit from direct mentoring from city managers and will be part of a cohort nurtured by ICMA staff who will provide resources and opportunities for ongoing connections. ICMA will also pay scholars a $2,000 stipend upon completion of the semester-long internship and provide an ICMA student membership. 

Are you interested in learning more about this program?

We are currently piloting this program in several communities. Complete the online form to receive more information.