New Opportunities to Learn and Connect through NLC University

The NLC University will host 11 training seminars on March 8 and 9 at NLC’s Congressional City Conference in Washington, D.C. The Congressional City Conference is an annual convening of elected officials, city and state municipal league staff centering on policy and advocacy issues that offers attendees the opportunity to advocate for federal priorities on Capitol Hill.

Launched at NLC’s Congress of Cities in November, NLC University is a new, collaborative education and professional development initiative that helps municipal leaders—both elected and appointed—build the skills they need to better govern, serve and advocate for their communities. NLC University replaces the Leadership Training Institute (LTI), in hopes of expanding the scope of educational offerings and making learning more accessible to NLC members through seminars, regional summits and online classes.

NLC University training targets four major proficiency areas that establish the foundation for the curriculum: Leadership, Management, Engagement and Issue Expertise. Training seminars this year cover a variety of topics such as grant writing, budgeting and finance, downtown re-development, pensions, fostering positive police-community relations, performance management for sustainability initiatives, connecting families to key federal supports and public leadership in the information age.

In addition to training seminars, NLC University provides networking and award opportunities to participants. The annual Leadership Luncheon celebrates Certificate of Achievement award recipients, recognizing Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum awardees on Sunday, March 9 at the Congressional City Conference. 

In an effort to build camaraderie between participants, the first annual NLC University Happy Hour is scheduled for Saturday, March 8 (complimentary Happy Hour ticket provided upon registration for an NLC University training seminar). The Happy Hour provides a venue for networking in support of education and training. Participants are encouraged to socialize and discuss their NLC University experience.

Featured trainers and presenters include:

  • Ronald L. Davis, Director of the COPS program at the U.S. Department of Justice, Jack Calhoun of Hope Matters, and Chief Kelly McMillan of the Salinas Police Department;
  • Kathie Novak, Chris Fabian, and Jon Johnson of the Center for Priority Based Budgeting;
  • Toby Rittner and Katie Kramer of the Council of Development Finance Agencies (CDFA);
  • Dennis Campa of the Annie E. Casey Foundation;
  • Malcom Chapman of The Chapman Group;
  • Bill Fulton of the City of San Diego;
  • Hilari Varnadore and Andrea Peet of STAR Communities;
  • Dr. Beverly Browning of eCivis; and
  • Elizabeth Keller of ICMA and Center for State and Local Government Excellence and Neil Bomberg of the National League of Cities.

For more information about the NLC University and to register for trainings at the Congressional City Conference, please visit: or contact Laura Lanford at