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 for Regional Leaders

The California Academy for Regional Leaders is designed to meet this challenge. Thirty professional level staff that want to further their career working for regional government will participate in six two-day sessions over the course of seven months. See schedule. These sessions will combine field visits, policy exploration, and candid conversations with regional leaders and executives. Also provided, will be professional leadership training that focuses on strategic thinking, effective communication, motivation, critical thinking, change management, and emotional intelligence. Each participant will also be assigned to a group project that will present a real problem faced by a CALCOG member. 


  • Who Should Apply. The program is open to mid-career professionals working in regional governments in California. Classes will be selected for diversity in life experience, geography, type of agency, and professional experience. The class will be limited to thirty participants. 

  • Application Process. The Academy is as much about the relationship between participants as it is about the instruction. Each participant must agree to attend all six sessions and make time available between classes for projects and other activities identified in the program agenda. Group activities will be planned for the evenings during the two day training sessions. Participants and their mangers must sign a Participation Acknowledgement.

  • Limited to Thirty Participants. The selection process is competitive; but we will also be selecting the class for diversity of experience in terms of personal background, professional experience, expertise, geographic location, and size and function of agency. Our objective is to create a class that will learn as much from each other as they will from the professional instruction.  

  • Program Cost.  The cost is $2950 ($2750 if your application is received by June 1), which includes all instruction and materials, meals, and group dinners/events. Each participant (or more likely their employing agency) is responsible for their own costs of their travel and lodging.

  • 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 and Linked-In profiles. They will also go down in history as the first inaugural class of the CALCOG Leadership Academy and no doubt will be recalled to provide (3-D) holographic testimonials of their experience when the program celebrates 25 years of successful leadership training in the year 2033.

For questions about the Academy, please contact Bill Higgins at to schedule a phone appointment.  

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