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2019 California Local Governance Summer Institute @ Stanford

Sunday, July 21, 2019 (All day) to Friday, July 26, 2019 (All day)
Stanford University

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No level of government, even those of the western United States’ traditionally innovative and adaptive local governments, can relax in its pursuit of excellence and efficiency. The public demands that elected and appointed officials bring the most current and effective methods to their work. This program will strengthen individual capacities from public finance, negotiating and strategic planning skills, while exposing participant to innovative solutions and technological advance supporting the emergence of smarter, more resilient and sustainable, communities in California and around the world. Beginning in 2019, the LGSI program is now proudly administered by the Precourt Institute for Energy.

Building upon a long­standing collaboration between Professors Bruce Cain, Director of the Bill Lane Center for the American West and formerly at UC Berkeley’s Institute of Governmental Studies, and Blas L. Pérez Henríquez, the Founding Faculty Director of this executive summer institute with local public officials and management professional organizations in the region, the Local Governance Summer Institute (LGSI @ Stanford) 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.

Instructors challenge participants to consider long view policy considerations and issues, such as technological advances and the transition to a low carbon economy in local government decision­making, while at the same time addressing current challenges facing our communities. Sample themes covered range from strategic thinking in problem solving, to smart financial management practices, community engagement, ethical practice and negotiations skills, to regional energy transition and water management policy challenges, as well as smart transport and urban infrastructure upgrading to enhance economic competitiveness at the local and regional level.

Stanford University's faculty and highly experienced leaders in the local government management profession introduce participants to new ideas and perspectives in problem solving and strategic thinking while exposing participants to the new realities of fast technological advance and environmental change. The program fosters active participation and provokes insightful discussion and debate on public management issues. Participants discover innovative approaches to problem solving in the stimulating environment of Stanford University, Silicon Valley and San Francisco, California. LGSI @ Stanford incorporates the International City/County Management Association’s (ICMA) Practices for Effective Local Government Management in four specific areas: strategic planning, policy facilitation, technological literacy, and integrity. Arrangements will be made to assist participants who wish to start the process to obtain their ICMA credentials by completing their self­assessment during the duration of the program.


Projected Schedule

  • Welcome Reception & Orientation
  • Leadership, Innovation & Change in Local Government
  • Problem Solving and Strategic Thinking
  • Economic Prospective Analysis
  • Sustainability and Local Government Action
  • Public Finance and Budgeting
  • Clean Disruption and Transport Innovation
  • Smarter Communities & Mobility as a Service
  • Negotiations
  • Leadership, Community Engagement, and Change
  • Emerging Challenges in Local Government
  • Federal & Local Cooperation on Energy and Environment
  • The Future of Energy
  • Ethics and Public Service
  • Politics & Institutions
  • Infrastructure of the Future
  • Governance and Problem Solving: The Water Challenge in California
  • Innovation and Economic Development
  • High-Tech, Entrepreneurship and Growth
  • Smart Growth & Planning
  • Investment, Policy and Innovation for Job Creation
  • Group Projects Presentations
  • Graduation



Tuition is $6,500. It includes instruction and materials, refreshments, and a dinner with a renowned keynote speaker.


Once admitted to the program, participants may make their own arrangements. There is a discount rate negotiated at a hotel close to the campus where all participants will be encouraged to stay due to programmatic activities and networking opportunities. Participants must make their own reservations. 

Hotel Information

Accommodations will be in the vicinity of Stanford University. Details will be announced.



Bruce E. Cain, Spence and Cleone Eccles Family Director, Bill Lane Center for the American West

The distinguished political scientist Bruce E. Cain is the Spence and Cleone Eccles Family Director of the Bill Lane Center for the American West, and Charles Louis Ducommun Professor in Humanities and Sciences. Professor Cain succeeded the Center's founding faculty co-director, David M. Kennedy, and is tasked with carrying on the Center's study of the past, present and future of the American West.Professor Cain brings a wealth of experience in U.S. and California politics. A pioneer in computer-assisted redistricting, he is a well-known expert on elections, term limits, polling, and the relationships between lobbyists and elected officials. He is a frequently cited source in media coverage of politics.

Sally M. Benson, Co-Director, Stanford Precourt Institute for Energy; Director, Global Climate & Energy Project, Stanford University

Sally M. Benson, who joined Stanford University in 2007, is the co-director of the Stanford Precourt Institute for Energy and the director of the Global Climate and Energy Project (GCEP). A Professor in the Department of Energy Resources Engineering in the School of Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences, she studies technologies and pathways to reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Prior to joining GCEP, Benson was a staff scientist in the Earth Sciences Division at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL). In 2004, she completed a four-year term as Deputy Director of Operations at the lab. Benson also served as Division Director for Earth Sciences and Associate Laboratory Director for Energy Sciences at LBNL.

A groundwater hydrologist and reservoir engineer, Benson has conducted research to address a range of issues related to energy and the environment. Her research interests include geologic storage of CO2 in deep underground formations, technologies and energy systems for a low-carbon future, and geotechnical instrumentation for subsurface characterization and monitoring.

Blas L. Pérez Henríquez, Faculty Director of the LGSI

Pérez Henríquez is the faculty director of the Local Governance Summer Institute @ Stanford (LGSI). He founded and serves as director of the California Global Energy, Water & Infrastructure Innovation Initiative at Stanford University, sponsored by the Bill Lane Center for the American West and the Precourt Institute for Energy. He is a Precourt Energy Scholar and directs the Stanford - United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Mexico Clean Economy 2050 Global Development Alliance.

Pérez Henríquez is a Distinguished Professor at the School of Engineering and Sciences of the Technological Institute of Superior Studies of Monterrey (ITESM) in Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico, and visiting faculty at Imperial College in London, United Kingdom. He has served as Senior Visiting Research Fellow at the Grantham Research Institute on Climate and the Environment at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) in London, United Kingdom, and as Guest Professor at the Centre of Economics Research and Teaching (CIDE) in Mexico City, Mexico.

He is the author of “Environmental Commodities and Emissions Trading: Towards a Low Carbon Future,” Resources for the Future – RFF Press/Routledge, Washington, DC (2013) and co-editor of “Carbon Governance, Climate Change and Business Transformation,” Routledge Advances in Climate Change Research, Taylor & Francis Group, Oxford, UK (2015). Most recently co-edited: "High-Speed Rail and Sustainability, Decision-making and the political economy of investment," Routlege Explorations in Environmental Studies, Taylor & Francis Group, Oxford, UK (2017). He has written on public-private environmental and energy collaboration in Silicon Valley, the use of information technology to support environmental markets and smart policymaking, as well as about innovative policy and technological solutions at the water-energy nexus in California.


Contact Us

For questions about the content or structure of the program, please contact Blas Pérez Henríquez at

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On this page: ScheduleTuition and AccommodationsInstructorsContact

Event Sponsor: 
Stanford Precourt Institute for Energy;
California Global Energy, Water & Infrastructure Innovation Initiative at Stanford University;
Bill Lane Center for the American West;
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