ICMA Volunteer Opportunities

The Call for ICMA Member Task Forces, Advisory Groups, and Committees opens in March.

ICMA Member Task Forces, Advisory Groups, and Committees are a great opportunity for member participation, connection, and networking. 

TASK FORCES: Task forces have specific assignments, work with defined deadlines (one to three years), and are composed of one group of members for the duration.

ADVISORY BOARDS: The executive director periodically appoints advisory groups to assist with key initiatives.

COMMITTEES:  ICMA committees are primarily those with delegated decision-making authority from the board. They have advisory roles and are ongoing, with staggered terms of members who serve. 

The ICMA Executive Board establishes the task forces and committees at its February board meeting. Members are encouraged to volunteer in the spring, and appointments are made by the president-elect in June. New groups usually begin their work at the annual conference in the fall.




The Conference Evaluation Committee evaluates the ICMA Annual Conference. The 2016 committee will meet twice in Kansas City: Sunday, Sept. 25, 10:30-11:45 a.m. and Wednesday, Sept. 28, 1:00-2:30 p.m. Committee members are appointed for a term of one year. 


The Conference Planning Committee plans the ICMA Annual Conference. The 2017 committee, which will plan ICMA's 103rd annual conference in San Antonio/Bexar County, Texas, will have an orientation meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2016, during this year’s conference in Kansas City. The committee’s main meeting will be held in San Antonio beginning at 5:00 p.m. on Friday, December 2, 2016, and adjourning by noon on Sunday, December 4. Committee members are appointed for a term of one year.


The Advisory Board on Graduate Education (ABGE) is a member group that meets jointly with professors of public administration for the purpose of enhancing the education of future local government management professionals. ABGE members are appointed by ICMA's executive director and work hand-in-hand with NASPAA's Local Government Management Education Committee through two subcommittees: Academic Connections and the Future of the Profession. ABGE members create useful tools for improving the education of future managers. The ABGE meets at the ICMA conference on Sunday morning and holds conference calls throughout the year.


The Local Government Excellence Awards Committee evaluates the nominations to ICMA's Local Government Excellence Awards Program and selects the recipients of the Professional and Program Excellence Awards, which are conferred at each year's annual conference. Seventeen members, representing each of ICMA's six regions and including several at-large positions, serve on the panel for three-year terms. The panel meets Sunday morning of the annual conference and participates in one or two conference calls per year.


The Governmental Affairs and Policy Committee oversees federal and state policy issues and reports back to membership and the board. Given the committee's ongoing role and the value of maintaining some continuity in the committee's membership, one-third of the committee's membership changes each year. Members are typically appointed for two- or three-year terms. The committee meets twice annually: Sunday morning of the ICMA Annual Conference and in March in conjunction with the National League of Cities Congressional Cities Conference. The March meeting is held at ICMA’s headquarters in Washington, D.C.


This program utilizes ICMA’s best resource--its current members--to welcome new members to the community. The Welcome Ambassadors’ goal is to provide meaningful, peer-to-peer outreach to members who have recently joined ICMA, with a focus on both U.S. and international members serving in local government. This committee is ideal for members who have a passion for the profession, a desire to help new members discover the value of their ICMA membership, and who want to expand their own professional network by interacting with dozens of new members over the course of the year. Members are asked to:

    • Commit to serve for two years (with the option for renewal) starting in September 2016. 
    • Contact new members each month, as assigned.
    • Provide monthly feedback to ICMA, including what the needs of the new members are, with an eye toward continually improving the process with which we welcome new members into the ICMA community.
    • Attend a committee meeting held during the annual conference (this is encouraged but not mandatory). There are also quarterly conference call meetings, in addition to the meeting at the annual conference.


The ICMA International Committee serves as an advisory body to the ICMA Executive Board on a range of international matters and carries out an annual charge as defined and described by the board. The committee also works to communicate the value of having an international perspective to other members of the association, state organizations, and others. The committee consists of individual ICMA members, as well as one representative from each of ICMA’s international affiliate organizations. The committee meets Sunday at the annual conference and in the spring jointly with one of ICMA's international affiliate organizations as part of an International Regional Summit. The spring meeting focuses on professional exchange and contribution to the international knowledge base. Committee members are appointed for a term of one, two, or three years. 


As the premier platform for professional networking and knowledge sharing in local government, ICMA.org represents a valuable ICMA member benefit and resource for the profession. The Digital Strategies Advisory Board influences the growth of the network by helping to identify the knowledge-sharing needs of local government professionals and providing feedback on the current member experience. Advisory board members serve as leaders in the icma.org online community by making active contributions in their areas of expertise and encouraging colleagues to do the same. The board meets once in person at the annual conference and at least once by conference call during the year. 


ICMA’s Sustainable Communities Advisory Committee supports the advancement of more sustainable, livable, and resilient communities by:

    • Promoting sustainability as a best practice of local government and a core competency of city and county management. 
    • Serving as advisors, partners, peer-to-peer mentors, and advocates for creating more sustainable communities.
    • Assisting ICMA in expanding its portfolio of grant-funded sustainability initiatives.

    The full committee meets at ICMA’s annual conference and quarterly by conference call. Additionally, the committee, as well as subcommittees, meet as needed for project specific purposes.

In 2004, ICMA’s executive board created the Task Force on Serving as an Acting Manager and charged it with two tasks: (1) collecting information and advice about what it’s like to serve as an acting manager/administrator in local government and (2) developing electronically available material to help members make the most of a sometimes unexpected opportunity. The task force wrote a very popular and useful handbook which has not been revised since published in 2005. A new task force of 15 to 20 members is recommended to revise the handbook as needed and research new materials to help members assuming the role of acting manager. The task force will begin work in September 2016 with the goal of delivering its work product by October 2017.



Over the next two years, the diverse group of members serving on ICMA's Strategic Planning Task Force will work together to develop a new strategic plan for ICMA, shaping the future of the organization. The task force will be responsible for developing an actionable strategic plan that describes the organization’s strategies for achieving its vision and mission, as well as how these strategies should be implemented. Members of the Strategic Planning Task Force were appointed by ICMA's president and president-elect.


The Research and Content Editorial Advisory Board supports the Research and Content team by helping to inform ICMA's research agenda, promoting ICMA's research activities, and contributing to information products. The 32-member advisory group convenes formally twice each year and members are appointed for two years to have continuity among ICMA members. The next meeting will be at the 102nd annual conference in Kansas City, Missouri.


ICMA’s Performance Management Advisory Committee is charged with helping to advance the practice of performance management in the profession and in individual local governments. Committee members do this by providing advice to ICMA regarding leading practices in performance management and analytics and by encouraging their peers to adopt these practices. The committee meets virtually on a quarterly basis and at the ICMA Annual Conference. They will also share their knowledge and experience from time to time on specific research questions and serve on conference panels within their states. Appointments to the 26-member committee are made by the Executive Director for two-year terms.



The 15-member Credentialing Advisory Board makes recommendations to the ICMA Executive Board as to who should be granted the ICMA Credential, advises the executive board on policy matters, advises the executive director on the administration of the Credentialing Program, and reviews approximately 1,200 applications and renewals every year. Annually, the advisory board meets by phone 4-6 times and in person for a 2-day discussion. Members are nominated by state and affiliate associations and appointed by ICMA’s president.



The Leadership Advisory Board advises the Executive Board on policy matters and staff on implementation of the 2014 Leadership Task Force recommendations. The advisory board meets in person at the ICMA Annual Conference and virtually once per month. Its subcommittees meet virtually as needed (0-2 times per month). Members are nominated by state and affiliate associations and appointed by ICMA’s president. 



YSEALI Host Communtities

ICMA is working with the U.S. Department of State on a program which brings young professionals from Southeast Asia in spring and fall to the United States to learn about the legislative process and governance in this country while working on a project in your city or county. The State Department selected ICMA in large part because of our unique and committed membership and the communities in which you work. Each host community will:

  • Host two international Fellows for four weeks
  • Provide an opportunity for the Fellows to work on a project or initiative that seeks to increase community engagement
  • Provide cultural enrichment experiences (home stays or visits, field trips, community events)
  • Assign a staff person to manage and supervise the Fellows’ work and related activities
  • Make in-kind, cost-share contributions of labor and direct expenses such as local transportation and office space. (Travel, accommodations, and a stipend for meals and incidentals for the Fellows are covered by the program)
  • Nominate a professional from your staff to potentially participate in a reciprocal international fellowship.

To apply to be a host community for International fellows, please compleate the professional fellows program host application.  


PRO-BONO Opportunities
By providing pro-bono support, local government chief administrators and their departmental specialists have been instrumental in the success and innovation of ICMA International programs for many years. Their strong practical knowledge and daily management experience enhance the credibility and quality of peer-to-peer learning. The relationships that grow out of an international training and/or technical assistance activity often continue far beyond the life of the specific project, as participants exchange information, best practices, and even visits for years to come. If you are interested in volunteering for a pro-bono assignment, please let us know via email at international@icma.org, summarizing your background, area(s) of expertise, and interests.


Host a Local Government Fellow 
All ICMA requires to start the process is a completed Letter of Intent to host. Submit the letter early to have your community listed when students apply in September. To have access to the most candidates, complete your letter of intent before January 31, as candidate finalist files are distributed to hosts in February. Hosts can sign up later, but be aware that candidates begin accepting offers early. The early host gets the Fellow! Explore the Benefits of Hosting, FAQ, for more details on projects Fellows have managed for their host communities. Contact Rob Carty at 202/962-3560 or lgmfprogram@icma.org if you have any questions about the program!


Become a Coach 
The ICMA Coaching program offers the opportunity for ICMA members to serve as coaches in the 1-1 Coaching program. If you are interested in becoming a coach, contact coaching@icma.org.


Become a Legacy Leader and mentor the next generation
ICMA invites Credentialed Managers to become a “Legacy Leader” and help enrich the profession by mentoring the next generation, supporting their professional development, and encouraging them to belong to ICMA as the professional organization that meets their unique needs.