Leadership Fellows

The principal mission of the Leadership Fellows is to support the National League of Cities in its efforts to promote excellence and innovation in the arena of local government leadership development and local government leadership education.

About the Fellows

Up to 25 champions of education and training for municipal leaders are selected each year as Leadership Fellows.  These Fellows promote NLC University offerings; cultivate leaders within the organization; strengthen peer networking and support among leaders committed to professional development and lifelong learning; increase connections to state municipal league educational programming; field-test new educational platforms or learning models; and provide feedback on the overall program.

Role of NLC Leadership Fellows

  • Outreach to colleagues to promote NLC University offerings.
  • Cultivation of leaders within the organization.
  • Peer networking & support among leaders committed to professional development & lifelong learning.
  • Increasing connections to state municipal league educational programming.
  • Field testing new educational platforms or learning models.
  • Providing feedback on the overall program.


  • Up to 25 members
  • Local officials, city staff, and state league staff

Appointments Process

  • Appointed by the NLC President
  • Please note: the application process is suspended for the 2015 calendar year, due to a restructuring of the current Leadership Fellows model. The 2014 Leadership Fellows are currently serving a two year term until the changes have been implemented.

Meeting Schedule

NLC Leadership Fellows will gather at the Leadership Luncheon during each of the NLC conferences. The advisory board will create short-term task forces as needed to achieve key goals; these work groups will meet during the two annual conferences, the Leadership Summit and/or by conference call.

2016 NLC University Leadership Fellows

David Baker, Mayor, Kenmore, Washington

Craig Barnes, Council Member, Queen Creek, Arizona

Rene' Bullock, Mayor Pro Tem, Commerce City, Colorado

Wally Campbell, Council Member, Goodyear, Arizona

Maurice Cheeks, Alderman, Madison, Wisconsin

Carolyn Comitta, Mayor, West Chester, Pennsylvania

Philip Goldstein, Councilman, Marietta, Georgia

Rap Hankins, Councilmember, Trotwood, Ohio

Dejerilyn King Henderson, Councilwoman, Troy, Alabama

Elizabeth Hurst, Councilwoman, Fairburn, Georgia

Velma Johnson, Councilor, Midfield, Alabama

Mike Kasperzak, Councilmember,  Mountain View, California

Carlo Leone, Councilman, Peoria, Arizona

Richard Madison, Staff Attorney, Bryant, Arkansas

LaWana Mayfield, Council-Member, Charlotte, North Carolina

James Mitchell, Councilmember, Charlotte, North Carolina

David Sander, Mayor, Rancho Cordova, California

Mickey Sandifer, City Councilmember, Shawnee, Kansas

George Thomas, Councilman, Meridien, Mississippi

Allan Van Ness, Deputy Mayor, Kenmore, Washington

Jeff Weisensel, Councilman, Rosemount, Minnesota

Vince Williams, Mayor, Union City ,Georgia

Mike Zinkin, Councilman, Oro Valley, Arizona