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Pepperdine | School of Public Policy
Ashley Labosier at Davenport Institute Professional Certificate

Davenport Institute for Public Engagement and Civic Leadership

The mission of the Davenport Institute for Public Engagement and Civic Leadership is to help build stronger communities in California by promoting public participation in local governance. The Davenport Institute works with local governments, non-profit organizations, and residents to both promote and support constructive and broad-based civic involvement in decisions that affect people where they live and work. We strive to be a champion of public engagement as a 21st century leadership skill for governments and residents to succeed together.

Find out more about the Davenport Institute

"The Davenport Institute's focus on best practices and emerging techniques in public engagement gives hope to better policy-making and governance. Greater public participation and trust in local government fosters more effective local representative democracy in California. Public engagement is a game changer for the good and the Davenport Institute is leading this change."

Rod Gould

City Manager, City of Santa Monica (retired)


Davenport Institute Training

The Davenport Institute offers a variety of seminars to help local and regional leaders improve their public engagement skills. Our seminars are geared toward mid-and upper-level department management, city and county managers, elected officials, civic leaders, and other leaders in local and regional government organizations as well as public safety personnel.

Citizen Engagement Grant Program - Pepperdine University

Take the next step in becoming a publicly engaged leader! Our unique certificate program offers a long weekend deep dive into the context, purpose, and best practices for engaging a broad cross-section of residents. Designed for mid-career local government professionals and those who work alongside local government to involve residents in decisions that shape our communities.

Writing on a whiteboard - Pepperdine University

The Davenport Institute works both directly and indirectly to support citizen engagement projects. We know the specific strengths of various methodologies and can serve as a "matchmaker" between municipalities and professional firms. We also connect creative leaders around the state with others who are looking for a more "home-grown" solution to their particular policy challenges.


Our affiliation with the Pepperdine School of Public Policy offers us an opportunity to co-host conferences relating to public engagement here in Malibu, CA.


Evaluation Platform

Evaluation and Recognition

Do you know how your government measures up when it comes to engaging residents? "How are WE Doing?" allows local governments to self-evaluate and apply for recognition as a "publicly engaged city" at one of three levels: Platinum, Gold, and Silver.


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