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Two hundred and fifty-three public officials have graduated from the Public Executive Leadership Academy (PELA) since it was created in 2005.

Alumni of the program have shared these comments about their experience:

“The PELA Program addresses the ‘whole person,’ with the perfect balance of professional development and personal growth opportunities.”

—Grant Goings, City Manager, City of Wilson

“Our PELA class bonded as a group. I felt like by the end of class we had forged lifelong friendships. We all know that if anyone needs help on any issue that comes up, that person has 24 other friends they can call for advice.”

—Jack Horton, County Manager, Caldwell County

“There are plenty of opportunities to learn best management practices and network with colleagues, but PELA provided a unique opportunity to concentrate on my desire to become a better leader. There’s not another program offered in North Carolina that provides this level of in-depth self examination and the tools to help managers become effective public leaders.”

—David Smitherman, County Manager, Lee County

Public Officials – Local and State Government Roles