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Leading regions requires a diverse skillset. Regional governments rely on consensus-based decisions that respect local decision-making. But their responsibilities--like transportation, equity, climate change, and housing--often elude easy consensus. Effective leaders navigate diverse political interests and share broad policy expertise to create a vision that benefits the economic, environmental and social health of the entire region.

A California Academy Designed for Regional Leaders

The California Academy for Regional Leaders (CARL) is an eight month program designed for mid-career professionals in regional government (See schedule). During the program, participants will identify and learn to leverage their personal leadership style and strengths, improve strategic thinking, and gain insight into the complex structure and functions of regional government. CARL allows participants to take their career to the next level and strengthen their organizations by becoming more effective leaders and building state-wide professional networks.


  • Who Should Apply? The program is open to mid-career professionals working for regional governments. Participants will be selected for diversity of experience in terms of personal background, professional experience, areas of expertise, geographic location, and size and function of their agency. Our objective is to create a class that will learn as much from each other as they will from the professional instruction.

  •  How to Apply. This is a competitive process. All program candidates must submit a resume, a completed application, and a signed Participation Agreement by August 17.

  •  Time Commitment. The Academy is as much about the relationship between participants as it is about the instruction. Each participant must agree to attend all sessions and participate in class activities. Participants and their managers must sign a Participation Agreement committing to the program’s time requirements.
  •  Small Class Size. The program size is limited to allow for participants to actively engage with each other, instructors, and guest speakers.
  •  Program Cost. $2950 includes all instruction, program materials, group events, lunch and selected evening meals. Each participant (or employing agency) is responsible for travel and lodging costs. When available, we will negotiate group hotel rates. 
  • Recognition of Completion. Each participant who successfully completes the program and meets the participation and group project requirements will be awarded a certificate recognizing their accomplishment that can be noted on resumes, bios, and Linked-In profiles, and business cards.

  •  CARL Alumni Program. All program graduates will receive the benefits of the CARL Alumni Program (CARLA) including discounts for CALCOG sponsored trainings, CARL networking events, and the opportunity to participate as program mentors and speakers, as needed.


For questions about the Academy, please contact Julia Johnston at

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