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Northwest Women's Leadership Academy

The NW Women’s Leadership Academy is launching its sixth cohort starting in October of 2023!

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 lives 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.

For the 2023/2024 cohort, the NW Women’s Leadership Academy will accept 20 people.

Nomination Process

The nomination period is open July 1 - August 1, 2023.

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

To nominate someone to apply, a supervisor or City/County Manager must send an email to nwwla@occma.org with the following information about the nominee:

  • Nominee Name

  • Nominee Contact Information

  • Nominee Position

  • Nominee Organization

  • Direct supervisor name and contact information

To self nominate, interested parties may submit the bulleted information above to nwwla@occma.org.


Once nominations are received by the Academy, we will send the nominee an email with application questions and directions. By applying, nominees agree to attend all Academy sessions and fully participate in the program.

Applications are due by August 16, 2023

The Application Review Committee will review all applications. Applicants can expect to receive a decision by August 31st.  


The Academy will run from October 2023 to June 2024. Our 2023/2024 cohort will begin with an in-person two-day retreat in late October 2023. Sessions will be held in person and on Fridays.  

Session dates and locations are as follows:

  • October 19 and 20, 2023 - Bend

  • December 1, 2023 - Tualatin

  • February 2, 2024 - Lake Oswego

  • April 5, 2024 - Eugene

  • June 7, 2024 - Beaverton

Curriculum and Tuition

The 2023/2024 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 $350 each, to help defray the cost of tuition. Applicants from small cities will be given preference by the 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 over the next five years, 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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