We already have a fellowship program. Can I hire a fellow through the LGMF?

ICMA encourages you to continue with your current program, but if you have the means to take on an additional fellow or augment your hiring process with the LGMF pool of finalists, we would be delighted to assist. We also strongly recommend you engage your current fellows with ICMA and the national network of management interns and fellows.

Why choose the LGMF program over hiring a student from a local university?

Students that apply to this program come from top schools nationwide, which are a member of or accredited by NASPAA. In addition, the finalists we deliver to you have been screened by our independent advisory board made up of local government managers, alumni fellows from this program and MPA professors or program directors.

How long can we keep our fellow?

You may hire a fellow into a full-time position at any time during the fellowship, though we recommend you continue the mentoring components for at least the duration of original fellowship. Most fellowships last one year, though some are extended to two years. Many of our host communities offer permanent positions to fellows before or at the end of their fellowships. We recommend if you want to keep your fellow for more than two years that you offer them a permanent position in your local government.

How long will the finalists be eligible for interviewing?

We use the platform Submittable, to collect and send applications. Using this tool, we can push applicant files to you almost instantly. With hiring beginning as early as February with other programs, we are competing for the top applicants in our pool as these students also apply for other fellowships and permanent positions. We recommend you commit to a specific timeline for hiring - it's in your best interest!

How many applications will I receive?

We send generally 15 or more applicant files to each host government. We will send as many files as you need or request, greater than or fewer than 15. We recommend you review at least 10. If you are hiring more than one fellow, we recommend you ask for as many files as we can send! Depending on the year, each ICMA region could see between 25 and 50 total finalists available and interested in working in a particular area.

How many applicants should I interview?

You may interview as many applicants as you wish. Though three is typical, we recommend you select four to five top applicants so you can fall back in case your top selections are not available when you make your offer. Competition for the top applicants is intense, and in normal years attrition in the LGMF finalist pool to other fellowships and full time positions is around 30 percent.

Do fellows get an automatic (fee waived) membership to ICMA during their fellowship?

Yes, for up to two years as a fellow.

Do fellows get a discounted rate to attend the ICMA Annual Conference?

ICMA covers the registration fee for fellows to attend the ICMA Annual Conference. In addition, we seek to provide unique learning opportunities for the fellows at the conference and throughout the year. If you have renewed your fellow into a two-year fellowship, ICMA will waive their conference attendance for a second year as well.

The $35,000 per year salary is too expensive for my jurisdiction, but I want to participate. What can I do?

The LGMF is competing with other fellowship programs, private industry, nonprofits, and full-time employment in federal, state, and other local governments. For example, Presidential Management Fellows start between GS9 and GS11. The salaries vary nationwide, but these grades represent a range between $38,824 and $61,068 depending on the grade, step and cost of living. In areas with lower costs of living lower salaries should be considered, but this salary was selected based on current and future market conditions. This is a minimum recommended amount.

Local governments in this program also compete with each other for the same finalists in the pool, and it can be difficult for smaller communities to compete with larger ones in terms of salary. This number is also designed to even the playing field. Applicants may rank interesting or rewarding opportunities higher than a larger salary, so be creative with your offer.

Several jurisdictions have entered into a fellow-sharing agreement to split costs with other local governments, which saves money, allows you to mentor a future professional manager, and offers a diverse experience for the Fellow. Some hosts also have departments where a fellow spends a rotation to cover the cost.

Is the payment of moving expenses required?

Payment of moving expenses is recommended, particularly when competing for a top applicant to 'seal the deal'. If you do not offer it initially, this benefit could also be one way do complete a competitive offer that had initially been turned down. It is not required.

What is the program timeline?

The general timeline from a student submitting an application, to starting work as a Fellow is:

  • Early December: Student applications due
  • Late January: Advisory Board reviews due (generally the third week in January)
  • Early February: Finalist files routed to hosts for review
  • February-April: Hosts contact finalists for interviews and begin the hiring process
  • June-August: Placed fellows begin one- or two-year Fellowships throughout summer

ICMA strives to run a tight operation, and hosts that want their pick from the candidate pool should move as quickly as possible through the review stage. Hosts compete with each other to place a Fellow from the talent pool! If a host is ready to schedule interviews by the second week of February, all the better. Top applicants have many irons in the fire, and apply for other fellowships and full time positions. 

Sometimes a host will contact ICMA in late summer to inquire about placing a fellow, and even at that stage there are often qualified finalists available (though not guaranteed).

Do you have questions?

Contact us at lgmfprogram@icma.org about the ICMA Local Government Management Fellowship (LGMF) program.

Host a Local Government Management Fellow

The LGMF program has helped launch the careers of more than 300 local government management professionals, including dozens of alumni fellows who have been hired as managers.

Learn More