PELA classroom

PELA uses a range of interactive and reflective learning experiences, including simulations, case studies, small learning teams, and participant-led discussions. Speakers from universities and the International City/County Management Association (ICMA), as well as expert consultants, will lead discussions and share their experiences and insights. Participants will also learn from another valuable resource—each other.


UNC-Chapel Hill Faculty

  Lydian Altman

Senior Manager of Leadership Curriculum Development

Expertise: Strategic planning, community visioning, team building and board development, collaborative relationships, regional cooperation, public sector coaching


  Elizabeth Dickinson

Clinical Associate Professor of Management and Corporate Communication, UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School

Expertise: Business communication (including cross-cultural, sustainability, diversity, leadership, gender)


  Willow Jacobson

Associate Professor of Public Administration and Government

Expertise: Human resource management; organizational theory; public management


  James Johnson

Director, Urban Investment Strategies Center, Frank Hawkins Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise and Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship, UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School

Expertise: Urban economics, demographics, diversity, entrepreneurship, poverty issues, small business, welfare reform, outsourcing


  Jonathan Morgan

Associate Professor of Public Administration and Government

Expertise: Community and Economic Development, Economic Development, Regional Clusters


  Rick Morse

Associate Professor of Public Administration and Government

Expertise: Public administration; community and regional collaboration; citizen participation; public leadership


  Tyler Mulligan

Associate Professor of Public Law and Government

Expertise: Community development, affordable housing, economic development


  Kim Nelson

Associate Professor of Public Administration and Government

Expertise: Local government form and structure, local government management, public administration, local government innovation


  Carl Stenberg

Professor of Public Administration and Government and Director, Public Executive Leadership Academy  

Expertise: Intergovernmental relations, leadership education and training for public officials, local government management and innovation, public administration, regionalism, strategic planning


  John Stephens

Associate Professor of Public Administration and Government 

Expertise: Inter-agency and public policy dispute resolution, citizen participation, group collaboration and facilitation


  Shannon Tufts

Associate Professor of Public Law and Government and Director, Center for Public Technology

Expertise: Information technology, social media (government use), survey methodology, technology


Guest Faculty

  George Manning

Professor Emeritus of Psychology and Business, Northern Kentucky University

Expertise: Life/work balance, stress management, leadership


  John Nalbandian

Professor Emeritus, School of Public Affairs and Administration, University of Kansas

Expertise: High-performance government, contemporary trends in local government, city management, manager-elected official relationships


  Robert J. “Bob” O’Neill Jr.

Fellow, Joseph P. Riley Jr. Center for Livable Communities, College of Charleston; and Former Executive Director, International City/County Management Association

Expertise: Leadership development, council-manager government, leadership, innovation


  Mitchell Sava

Vice President of Innovation and Engagement, North Carolina Museum of Life and Science

Expertise: Innovation management and culture, human-centered design, social and public innovation, innovation and venture labs and accelerators, innovation and entrepreneurship policy


  Mark Weaver

President, Communications Counsel Inc.

Expertise: News media, crisis communications, media law



Public Officials – Local and State Government Roles