Local Governance Summer Institute at Stanford

The Local Governance Summer Institute offers city managers, county executives, regional directors, and other senior local government officials from throughout the West the opportunity to exchange and acquire tools for improving local government performance and enhancing prospective analytical capacity to innovate and anticipate societal change. For questions about the content or structure of the program, please contact Blas Pérez Henríquez at blph@stanford.edu or Joshua Dimon at jdimon@stanford.edu.

Regional Management Fellowship Program

With a growing need to attract top level talent to local government, the Next Gen Committee has developed a Regional Management Fellowship Program that offers top Graduates from our local universities the opportunity to work on meaningful projects and initiatives within local government agencies in Santa Clara and San Mateo counties for up to three years!

The Regional Management Fellowship Program offers participating agencies the ability to:

  • Attract talented graduate level candidates to the organization and establish talent pipelines that will help the agency’s workforce succession efforts for years to come
  • Identify and develop the next generation of local government leaders
  • Form long-lasting partnerships with local universities, which are a valuable resource for recruiting new talent to the organization
  • Offer organizations with the flexibility needed when a new project or initiative arises that requires talented individuals with certain areas of expertise
  • Compete with the private sector, as it offers individuals the opportunity to gain valuable and meaningful work experience without making a long-term commitment

In addition, the benefits for participants include:

  • Unique opportunity of individuals to make an immediate impact
  • First-hand view into local government work
  • Mentoring from passionate and innovative government leaders
  • Experience in critical areas that develop report writing, research, presentation, and analytical skills
  • Potential for a career with local government agency
  • Support from peer to peer coaching and cohort environment




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Leadership Academies

The Leadership Academy of Santa Clara County is focused on helping mid-level professionals advance in their organizations. Focusing on “soft skills,” the Academy is held once per month for seven months and costs $850 per participant.

The Public Sector Leadership Academy of San Mateo County provides eight half-day sessions addressing a variety of leadership and management topics. The per-participant cost for each session is $25 for training consortium members and $50 if an employee’s agency is not a member.

Other Regional training programs are available such as the Lead Worker Academy and the Supervisory Academy. For more information, go to https://www.smcgov.org/hr/regional-training-development-consortium-public-agencies

Speed Coaching and Networking Lunch

Every other year the Next Gen of Silicon Valley Committee sponsored by the two CM Associations of SC and SM Counties host a speed coaching and networking lunch for emerging leaders. Speed coaches include City Managers, Assistant City Manager, Department Heads, and other executives.

Similar to speed dating, speed coaching rotates participants through several rounds of short coaching sessions with different senior managers from local governments in the two counties

Careers in Local Government Management

A career in local government is an excellent option for those who have a passion for public service. Public service is often about what you give rather than what you receive, and putting the collective good before the needs of individuals. Public service is about leadership, possibility, innovation, empowerment, and relationships.

For more information, please visit https://icma.org/local-government-management-career-overview

Regional Internship Program

Held every year (in summer).  Positions are posted by Feb/March.

Paid or unpaid (in person/virtual) internships for university students are offered by local government agencies in Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties. The positions are posted on the online job board www.calopps.org.

For more information, contact Chaten Berry at cberry@smcgov.org.

For more info:


Kyliyah Daniel
Water Resources Planning
Summer Intern 2022

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my internship thus far at valley water. My mentor Gabriel takes the time to ensure I understand my job, community outreach and the inner workings of valley water. We are both not from San Jose so I appreciate the time he took show me various creeks and maps to become familiar with the landscape. The Intern program emphasizes professional growth which bleeds into personal growth. The workshops have taught me the importance of networking, soft skills and business acumen. All valuable skills I will continue to use after this internship. The nice cherry on top is the employees outside the program are beyond welcoming and have made me feel like one of them.

Javier Reano-Sandoval
Engineering Intern Civil
Summer Intern 2021

I just wanted to express my gratitude and appreciation to all of you that worked very hard to make this summer internship program possible. I am incredibly grateful to have been a part Valley Water’s talented and passionate workforce. This was my very first internship and I am so glad that I got the chance to understand what it takes to provide people access to safe, clean water. I learned so many new things throughout this internship which have all given me a whole different perspective on water resources. I got the chance to work and interact with people from all different backgrounds and there was always something good to take away from each day of my internship. The people who made this internship possible should know that they are making a huge impact on the lives of us interns and that the experience that we obtained throughout this internship will greatly benefit us throughout our academic and professional careers. I am very sad that this internship has come to an end, but I want to thank you all so much for this amazing opportunity and I hope that future students get the chance to be a part of this incredible program as I did.

Seraph Nicole Woodbury
Software Services
Summer Intern 2021

I am very grateful for the opportunity to intern at Valley Water this summer. My mentor and team immediately made me feel included and useful to the organization. As my first industry experience, the skills I developed during this short period are invaluable. It was incredibly rewarding to see the results of the projects I worked on throughout the summer. Not only did I gain knowledge and experience in the field I specialize in, but I also had the opportunity to learn more about Valley Water and the organization as a whole. Although my internship is coming to an end, I know that the relationships I built and my connection to Valley Water will continue to last. 

Meeting with University Career Centers

Held every year. The Two-County Next Generation Committee meets once per year with university career center staff to educate them about local government careers and discuss opportunities such as the Regional Internship and Fellowship Program as well as local government representation at university job fairs.