Featured Content

Regional Engagement

The concepts of identity and place are central to the American West. For many in the West, local government shapes how individuals and communities interact and grow. From bicycle paths to clean drinking water, local government is responsible for most services that residents see and touch. The Center works to train the next generation of leaders in the American West through student research opportunities, executive education and our City Managers Initiative.

City Managers Initiative


members of the managers mobility partnership
Signatories of the Managers Mobility Partnership in May 2016 (Photo:  Christine Baker-Parrish)

Launched in 2013, the Bill Lane Center's City Managers Initiative convenes local government executives from Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties with Stanford experts to address pressing regional challenges and solutions, ranging from water resource management to transportation and mobility solutions. The initiative's steering committee is comprised of the city managers from Daly City, Menlo Park, Mountain View, Palo Alto and Redwood City. 

Since 2015, the City Managers Initiative has been focused on tackling regional congestion in Silicon Valley. Together with Stanford University and Joint Venture Silicon Valley, the cities of Menlo Park, Mountain View, Palo Alto and Redwood City have established the Managers Mobility Partnership — a historic agreement pledging to work together on the transportation challenges facing these communities. 

City managers, with support from the Bill Lane Center and the Office of Community Engagement, have also been convening to explore policing alternatives. Lane Center researchers have conducted literature reviews of policing models and shared the results with local leaders, who will use the information to inform policy decisions.

Local Governance Summer Institute

The Local Governance Summer Institute (LGSI) is a partnership of the Bill Lane Center and the Precourt Institute for Energy. It offers city managers, county executives, regional directors, and other senior local government officials the opportunity to exchange and acquire tools for improving local government performance and enhancing prospective analytical capacity to innovate and anticipate societal change. This program will strengthen individual capacities in public finance, negotiating and strategic planning skills, while exposing participants to innovative solutions and technological advance supporting the emergence of smarter, more resilient, sustainable, and equitable communities in California and around the world. 

Apply for the 2024 institute using this LGSI Application Form.  Applications are reviewed monthly on a rolling basis until the program reaches capacity. Learn more about LGSI here.

Flyer for the Local Governance Summer Institute in July 0f 2024


Opportunities to Explore Local Government

Each year, Stanford University offers dozens of courses related to local government across many disciplines. Such courses have highlighted the powerful role local politics can play in creating just, equitable and sustainable cities, and have given students a new understanding of the immediate impact they can have on their communities by engaging in policymaking at the local and regional level.  Some Lane Center alumni have even gone on to pursue meaningful careers in local government. 

We are fortunate to have Dan Rich serve as the Lane Center's local government advisor. With over 30 years of public sector experience, including 27 years in local government management in the Bay Area, Rich has served as the city manager of both Campbell and Mountain View, where he remained until his retirement at the end of 2019.

Affiliated Researchers

Center Researchers
Bruce Cain
Preeti Hehmeyer
Joyce Tagal
Dan Rich
Other Researchers
Larry Litvak


members of the managers mobility partnership

 Managers Mobility Partnership

This partnership emerged from the Bill Lane Center's City Managers Initiative. Working as the academic partner to Stanford's neighboring cities, the Center seeks to advance the study of connectivity across the West's broad landscapes.