Professional Certificate in Advanced Public Engagement for Local Government | Pepperdine University | School of Public Policy

Professional Certificate in Advanced Public Engagement for Local Government

public engagement

Three-Day Intensive Workshop for Local Government Practitioners

In response to the growing interest from local leaders, the Pepperdine School of Public Policy and the Davenport Institute for Public Engagement and Civic Leadership have developed a professional certificate program that offers a deep dive into public engagement at the local level.

In an age where trust in government (and indeed in all institutions) is at an all time low, and indifference toward local government is at an all time high, the very future of local representative democracy requires leaders with a new skill – an ability to break through cynicism and mistrust and engage residents in local policy. From public safety, to city budgets and spending, to planning and environmental policies, today's challenges need leaders who can re-vitalize public involvement and lead residents engaged in the difficult work of self-government.

The first program of it's kind in the United States, this professional certificate draws on the expertise of the Davenport Institute, which over the past decade has become a leader in equipping local governments for legitimate public engagement. The Davenport Institute has impacted over 117 municipalities across California, including providing over 40 funded-service grants in support of public engagement.  Last year, the Institute also launched How Are We Doing?   a platform for evaluating local civic engagement efforts and recognizing agencies that are taking great strides in the field.

Over this long-weekend at our Malibu campus, mid-career professionals will be prepared to lead a publically-engaged organization by gaining a deep understanding of the context, purpose, and best practices for engaging residents in the decisions that affect their lives and communities. Participants will receive instruction from current and former city managers and thought leaders in civic engagement as well as School of Public Policy faculty.

Concepts Covered:

• Is public engagement a fad? Why Now?
• Role of local government, residents, community groups and media in Public Engagement
• History of Public Engagement in American Local Representative Democracy
• State of the Art Public Engagement
• Pitfalls, Common Errors, and Warning Signs
• Collaborative Leadership & Public Engagement
• Reaching out to traditionally disengaged members of the community
• Role of Technology in Engagement
• Role of Leadership in Public Engagement


July 28-30, 2017
Class Meets: 8 am – 6pm


Pepperdine University
Villa Graziadio Executive Center
Malibu, CA

Who Can Attend:

Local government practitioners, including professionals from cities, counties, and special districts, private sector employees who serve local governments and graduate students focused on local government.


$1,990. Includes instruction and materials, meals, and an optional dinner Thursday evening, July 27, 2017, with a renowned keynote speaker.


Lodging is available on a first-come, first-served basis at the Pepperdine Malibu campus's Villa Graziadio at the discounted room rate of $175/ night.