Turner Scholars Internship

The Bob Turner Scholars Internship Program is a hands-on learning opportunity designed to attract high school students to local government and a values-based career. By partnering with local governments and the city manager’s office, the program offers an internship experience that not only demonstrates the nuts and bolts understanding of what city managers do, but how they do it—the core values that guide their management practices and inform their decisions. Interns will benefit from direct mentoring from city managers and will be part of a cohort nurtured by ICMA staff who will provide resources and opportunities for ongoing connections. 


One of the key elements of being a successful leader in public administration is the ability to think of innovative solutions to the challenges that arise. That's what the ICMA and I aim to do with the creation of this program: help high school and college students gain insight into the professional duties of being a public administrator, while earning a stipend.

Bob Turner exemplified what it meant to be a successful leader and mentor as a public servant. While City Manager of Boulder, he repeatedly had the courage to take on controversial issues and provide the City Council with realistic options that led to sound community decisions. Ongoing evidence of his leadership and administrative skills can still be seen in the communities where he worked(Boulder, CO, Burbank, CA, Cincinnati, OH). Due to his recognized professional reputation, his fellow city managers elected him for a term as President of the City Manager's Association. He eventually moved on from city government but stayed in public service. He was a cabinet member for two Colorado governors.

Bob was a mentor to many individuals who followed in his footsteps and made their own contributions to society. During Bob's career in city management, he was very committed to employing administrative interns that he nurtured as important members of his staff. In Boulder, during my tenure, he had no less than 8 full time interns who were effective contributors to the City of Boulder. Practically all of these individuals became city managers or governmental administrators.

I am very enthusiastic about the creation of the Bob Turner Scholars Program at the ICMA and confident it will give students the same experience that Bob gave me-the opportunity to learn the impact a career in local government management can have on a community.

Through the financed scholarship program, combined with a mentorship commitment from a city manager, the Bob Turner Scholars will learn firsthand the multitude of responsibilities in public service and the core values that fall upon that position.

If we're lucky, we get to meet one or two people during the course of our lives about whom we can say, "This person changed my life." Bob Turner was one of those people for me. I hope that the young people who join this program are lucky enough to meet their own Bob Turner.



Jim Kean

James H. Kean

former City of Boulder Administration Intern;

former Acting City Manager



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