• Home
  • NW Women's Leadership Academy

Northwest Women's Leadership Academy logo

Northwest Women's Leadership Academy

The NW Women’s Leadership Academy (NWWLA) is a program to advance women from a variety of backgrounds in local government into leadership roles. The Academy is a nine-month professional development cohort for emerging local government leaders in Oregon and Washington that provides opportunities to enhance skills and competencies, build confidence, network, and expand professional connections through career mentoring and moral support to women in local government.

The NW Women’s Leadership Academy is launching its 2021 cohort!

The NWWLA completed a successful second year program in April of 2020. Now in its third year, the Academy will build upon the successes of the first two years in order to continue offering a quality learning experience as well as more opportunities to network and expand professional connections with the addition of an overnight retreat to kick-off the program.

For the 2021 cohort, the NW Women’s Leadership Academy will accept 20 people.

Nomination Process

To be able to apply, participants must be nominated by their organizations. City and County Managers can nominate one or two staff members from their organization to participate in the Academy. If a jurisdiction nominates more than one person, please indicate the priority ranking between the two.

Academy participants must commit to attending all the sessions in the cohort; by submitting an application, participants and their managers agree that they have read the Leadership Academy program description, and that the participant will attend all Academy sessions and fully participate in the program. 

To nominate a participant to apply, a City/County manager can send an email to admin@nwwla.com which includes the following information on the nominee:

  • ·         Nominee name & contact information
  • ·         Position
  • ·         Organization
  • ·         Direct supervisor name and contact info

Once this information is received by the Academy, you and the nominee can expect a follow up email with application questions and directions.

Nominations are due by September 28, 2020

Applications are due by October 28, 2020

Logistical considerations

Sessions will be held virtually due to COVID-19 on Fridays, with specific dates still to be determined, from January 2021 to June 2021.

Details on the Curriculum:

The 2021 cohort will benefit from sessions on a variety of topics including

  • leading during a crisis
  • diversity, equity and inclusion
  • understanding your personal leadership strengths
  • working with a governing board
  • interviewing and negotiation
  • process improvement

The cost for participation in the Academy is $350. This covers speakers and materials.

The NWWLA will offer five (5) scholarships, at $100 each, to help defray the cost of lodging and tuition. Small cities will be given preference when recipients are identified by the Selection Committee.

Please contact the Leadership Team at admin@nwwla.com with any questions and thank you for supporting women in local government in advancing their careers.

Example Schedule







Welcome, Introductions and Purpose

2-day Session to explore individual and collective purpose for engaging in the academy.

Leadership Development

Understand your leadership strengths and develop a personal leadership curriculum for the academy.

Relationship with the Governing Board

Hear from two City Managers about how they organize the work of the organization and their approach to establishing effective relationships between the governing board and administration. 


Cultural Inclusion/DEI

Discussion about how to talk about cultural inclusion in your organization and take steps towards progress.



Learn the basics of Oregon Budget Law and how to develop a municipal budget in this context. 



HR / Labor Relations 101

Navigating the HR landscape can seem scary and overwhelming. Learn how to spot the trickiest issues and when to escalate them.


Interviewing & Negotiation

Ready to move to the next level? Learn more about working with an executive search firm and practice your interview skills. 



Land Use in Oregon

You've heard that land use in Oregon is unique. Learn what you need to know as a leader in local government. 


Women in Leadership

A panel of working women for an informal discussion about challenges and tools of integrating work and life. 



Process Improvement

Learn a few simple tools for unleashing performance and innovation in your organization. 


Strategic Planning Session



Leadership Wrap Up & Graduation

Revisit your leadership journey and set goals for the future. Celebrate your academy experience. 


Graduation Guest speaker

If you have any questions, please email the 2020-2021 NWWLA Leadership Team at admin@nwwla.com

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

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software