Partners Program Overview

ICMA partners have spoken of their need for support in carrying out their roles as partners of local government administrators. Frequently, they are the manager's main source of support in coping with the stresses that are an inevitable part of the profession. Many aspects of the local government administrative career can have a strong impact on family stability and require special understanding and effort. How these life and career issues are managed can often make crucial differences both in family happiness and career fulfillment. Few other careers affect so many personal and daily aspects of life. 

ICMA’s Partners Program recognizes the significant role that a partner and family play in the success of a local government management professional’s career. Each year, the Partners Program develops relevant content in a relaxed environment for the partners at the ICMA Annual Conference. The Partners Program provides a scholarship for a partner of an ICMA member who has never attended an ICMA conference. The ICMA Annual Conference is the single-largest gathering of ICMA partners; it provides them with a chance to share their experiences, receive valuable information, network, and connect. The partner network has helped forge strong friendships and valuable connections on personal and professional levels.

The program is dedicated to:
  • Providing opportunities to enhance interpersonal strengths and positive coping strategies, while improving individual and partnership communication skills.
  • Fostering support networks and other exchange activities for partners that create ways to exchange solutions to common problems.
  • Providing information that offers practical advice on finding and using community resources and other tools for dealing with life problems.

Program includes the following opportunities:

  1. Annual Conference Events

    ICMA’s Partners Program focuses on developing related content for the annual conference, which is the single largest gathering point for ICMA members and partners. ICMA’s Annual Conference provides rich opportunities for networking and personal development and offers the chance to meet new friends and renew ties with old ones. Each year the conference program includes sessions designed to provide meaningful information and opportunities to discuss areas of keen interest to partners and members either together or separately.
  2. First-Time ICMA Conference Attendee Partners Scholarship Program

    Many of us remember our first conference: the place, the programs, the people we met, but most importantly, knowing you were among friends, people who experienced what you experienced and could honestly say “I know what you mean." Some partners, however, have never attended a conference. At times we know that work or family obligations can prevent a partner from attending the conference, but sometimes money is the issue.
    The Partners' Conference Scholarship Program, created in the memory of Frances “Babs” Elwell, continues its mission to provide scholarships for partners of ICMA members who have never attended an ICMA Annual Conference.

The application process will open on June 14, 2023 and close on Wednesday, August 16, 2023. Applications submitted outside of this timeframe will not be considered.


  • Must be a first-time attendee: All partners of ICMA members who have not attended a conference are eligible.
  • Must complete application and submit by Wednesday, August 16, 2023.

Awardee will be notified by Wednesday, August 23, 2023**

To apply for this scholarship, complete and submit the online application by Wednesday, August 16, 2023.  

Complete the Online Application 

**Acceptance of this scholarship will require your participation in the Partners Program events during the conference. Note that you will be required to return the scholarship money if you are unable to attend the conference and the program activities. Recipient(s) agree to be recognized at partner events.



You can contribute directly to help other member partners share in the fun and learning experience of the annual conference.

Donate Now


Make your contributions payable to ICMA Conference Assistance Program and send to:

ICMA Partners Program
777 North Capitol Street, NE, Suite 500 
Washington DC, 20002