In an age where trust in government and institutions is at an all-time low, the Davenport Institute for Public Engagement and Civic Leadership offers intensive workshops throughout year to equip local government leaders with the skills to break through the cynicism and mistrust to directly engage with residents in local policy.

The Professional Certificate in Advanced Public Engagement for Local Government is focused around the idea of why public engagement is vital and how local leaders can do it well. Local government leaders are encouraged to come together over the course of three days to gain a deeper understanding of the context, purpose, and best practices for engaging residents in the decisions that affect their communities.

“The Professional Certificate program in Advanced Public Engagement for Local Government, for me, was a reawakening to what it means to make local representative democracy work, and work well,” stated Seth Patton, January 2018 Certificate Recipient and Policy Advisor for County of San Diego Supervisor Bill Horn, 5th District. “Good government protects the role of the public in the public policy process and these three days in Malibu were a crash course in how to do just that, particularly at a time of both rapid technological innovation and a general trend of declining trust of government. I left with a fresh perspective and actionable techniques that I can put to use immediately in serving our citizens.”

Davenport Institute will host two Professional Certificate workshops this summer: June 8 – 10, 2018 at the Pepperdine Malibu campus and July 13 – 15, 2018 at the Pepperdine Washington DC campus. Anyone with an interest in engaging community members from a local government standpoint can and should apply for these sessions, including professionals from cities, counties, and special districts; private sector employees who serve local governments; and graduate students focused on local government.

Prior to the program start, participants will identify a public engagement project they are currently working on, or one they are thinking about undertaking. The cohort will create substantive public engagement plans to implement in their own communities that are based on new ideas and leading-edge techniques learned over the course of the weekend. Moreover, at the end of the session, the cohort members are awarded certificates for their completion of the program and, going forward, can consult with their network of fellow graduates who are facing the same challenges while working towards the same goal.

More information, including cost of participation and how to apply, can be found here:

For questions, please contact Davenport Institute Executive Director Ashley Trim via email at or by phone at (310) 506-6878.