In early 2009, CSAC unveiled a new and highly valuable member service: The CSAC Institute for Excellence in County Government. For the past 2½ years, the Institute has provided numerous educational opportunities for county officials. For example, in the past week alone our instructors have taught courses on water and on how California counties are financed. Overall, the Institute has offered more than 80 courses, which have had an combined enrollment of nearly 1,900 individuals.

Many of our students – especially those who have earned their supervisors or executive credential – have been asking us, “What’s next?” We now have an answer as we take our educational program a step further.

CSAC and the CSAC Institute are proud to announce a unique learning experience designed exclusively for county supervisors and county administrative officers. The Executive Leadership Symposium is an intensive three-day leadership practices learning experience designed to build your capacities in collaboration and adoptive change to evaluate current challenges and make progress on persistent issues and challenges. The Symposium is scheduled for mid-February in San Jose. You can click here for the symposium brochure that provides complete information.

The instructor is Marty Linsky from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. Marty is known in local, state and federal governments around the world as a challenging and insightful instructor. He serves on the faculty of the world-renown Senior Executives in State & Local Government program at Harvard. I have had the chance to participate in one of Marty’s programs and found myself re-evaluating my leadership practices and walking away with new tools and approaches to leadership. We are lucky to have him come to California Counties.

There are only 45 seats available, so apply soon. The online application can be found here. The application deadline is October 31.

The costs of the instruction and course materials are generously underwritten by several founding sponsors, including the Blue Shield of California Foundation, California Communities Foundation, Southern California Edison and CSAC.

This is a great opportunity for county supervisors and county administrators. We are confident you will find it an invaluable investment of your time.

David Liebler is the Director of Public Affairs and Member Services for the California State Association of Counties. He can be reached at