Tacoma Mayor Victoria Woodards is going back to school this week to study leadership and management practices as one of 40 mayors selected for an intensive education program with the Bloomberg Harvard City Leadership Initiative.
As a participant in the Initiative’s 2018 program, Mayor Woodards will attend classroom sessions on management and leadership best practices delivered by faculty from Harvard Business School and Harvard Kennedy School, as well as world-renowned experts from Bloomberg Philanthropies’ global network.
“I’m looking forward to the year ahead as a great opportunity to meet and exchange ideas with innovative mayors from across the globe, and discuss how to best approach the most pressing problems faced by the community members we serve,” Mayor Woodards said. “As a new mayor, I am excited to learn more about how I can work across industry sectors and develop effective, data-driven solutions to tackle priority issues such as affordable housing in Tacoma.”
Michael Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg Philanthropies and three-term mayor of New York, collaborated with outgoing Harvard University President Drew Faust to create the Bloomberg Harvard City Leadership Initiative in 2016. Collectively, Harvard University and Bloomberg Philanthropies aim to help mayors and their leadership teams manage the complexities of running a city, and to have opportunities to learn from one another. The Bloomberg Harvard City Leadership Initiative will connect Mayor Woodards to some of the university’s top educators, coaching from experts, a network of peers, and technical assistance.
After the mayors’ convening, two senior-level city officials nominated by each mayor will attend a similar convening in August 2018. From Tacoma, City Manager Elizabeth Pauli and Senior Policy Analyst Melanie Harding will participate in the yearlong program as well, and help Mayor Woodards translate what they learn into organizational changes that improve life in Tacoma.
Woodards’ participation in the Bloomberg Harvard City Leadership Initiative and that of her two senior leaders – including tuition, accommodation, meals and airfare – is fully funded by the program.