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Northwest Women's Leadership Academy

The NW Women’s Leadership Academy is launching its seventh cohort starting in October of 2024!

The purpose of the Northwest Women’s Leadership Academy is to advance women from a variety of backgrounds in local government with the goal of promoting more women into leadership roles. The Academy is an eight-month-long professional development cohort that provides emerging local government leaders in Oregon with opportunities to enhance skills and competencies, build confidence, network, and expand professional connections through career mentoring and moral support.

We value diversity and are committed to fostering a culture of respect and inclusion. Any local government employee that works in Oregon and identifies as a woman is welcome to be nominated. Black, Indigenous, and Women of Color are especially encouraged to participate, as are women with a disability.

Nomination Process

The nomination period is open June 24 - August 1, 2024. Submit a nomination form, available here

To be able to apply, prospective participants must either be nominated by their City/County Manager or supervisor, or they may self-nominate. We’re unable to accept more than two nominees from each jurisdiction. We ask nominators to coordinate internally with your organization prior to submitting nominations.


Once nominations are received by the Academy, we will send the nominee an email with application questions and directions.

Applications are due by August 18, 2024

The Recruitment and Selection Committee will review all applications. 

Applicants can expect to receive a decision by August 31st. 


The Academy will run from October 2024 to June 2025. Our 2024/2025 cohort will begin with an in-person two-day retreat in October 2024. Sessions will be held in person and on Fridays. 

Session dates and locations are as follows:

  • October 3 and 4, 2024

  • December 6, 2024

  • February 7, 2025

  • April 4, 2025

  • June 6, 2025

We are working to identify locations for this year’s sessions and will post that information before the nomination deadline of August 1. You can expect to see three sessions held in the Portland-Metro Area, one session in the Willamette Valley, and the two-day retreat in Central Oregon.

    Curriculum and Tuition

    The 2024/2025 cohort will benefit from sessions on a variety of topics that could include:

    • Diversity, equity and inclusion

    • Understanding personal leadership strengths

    • Working with a governing board

    • Interviewing and negotiation

    • Process improvements

    • Working with the media

    • Community engagement

    The cost for participation in the Academy is $800. This covers speakers and materials.

    The NWWLA will offer five (5) scholarships, at $500 each, to help defray the cost of tuition. Applicants from small cities will be given preference by the Recruitment and Selection Committee.

    Please contact the Leadership Team at nwwla@occma.org with any questions. Thank you for supporting women's advancement in local government!

    The NWWLA 2020 Strategic Plan was developed to guide the Academy through 2024, enhance engagement of those who support the academy, and provide a structure that will promote accountability amongst our leadership. It is also intended to serve as a communication tool to share information about who supports the academy, who it serves, and what it is.

    NWWLA 2020 Strategic Plan

    © Oregon City/County Management Association.  A State Affliliate of ICMA.

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