Newly Elected Mayors

The Seminar on Transition for Newly-Elected Mayors is a dynamic, integrated, non-partisan program for incoming mayors of large U.S. cities. 

A collaboration every two years by Harvard Kennedy School's Institute of Politics and the U.S. Conference of Mayors, the Seminar on Transition is unlike any other training program for new city executives. It provides intensive seminars on major urban policy issues such as public safety, municipal finance, and crisis management, led by prominent scholars and practitioners representing viewpoints from across the political spectrum. It also offers an unmatched set of workshops to help new mayors take on the practical challenges of urban governance. These workshops focus on the 'how' of getting things done in the city, and are led by current and former mayors from across the country, as well as members of the media, the private sector, and the municipal government establishment.

Program topics generally include:

  • Transitioning from the Campaign to City Hall
  • Financing the City
  • Intergovernmental Affairs
  • Business and Government
  • Pensions and Retiree Healthcare
  • Mayors and the Media
  • Managing in a Time of Crisis

Presenters and speakers come from the highest echelons of city government and academia. Past speakers include:

  • Linda Bilmes, Professor, Harvard Kennedy School
  • Jane Campbell, former Mayor, Cleveland, OH
  • David Ciccilline, former Mayor, Providence, RI
  • Tom Cochran, Executive Director, US Conference of Mayors
  • Joseph Curtatone, Mayor, Somerville, MA
  • Manny Diaz, former Mayor, Miami, FL and Member, Institute of Politics Senior Advisory Committee 
  • Tom Menino, Mayor, Boston, MA
  • Marc Morial, former Mayor, New Orleans, LA
  • Michael Nutter, Mayor, Philadelphia, PA
  • Martin O'Malley, former Mayor, Baltimore, MD
  • Larry Summers, former President, Harvard University
  • Antonio Villaragosa, Mayor, Los Angeles, CA

The Seminar on Transition for Newly-Elected Mayors introduces new mayors to the skills mastered by big-city mayors who have met the challenges of governing and getting things in the complex environment of urban politics. It gives new mayors access to the most respected thinkers and practitioners in the public policy arena. And it affords them a priceless opportunity to become acquainted with their colleagues from across the country and across the political spectrum, and to discuss common goals and challenges in a relaxed setting away from the pressures of city governance.

Attendance at this Seminar is by invitation only, and program proceedings are closed to press and not for attribution. All travel expenses, lodging and meals for new mayors and their spouses are paid for by the Institute of Politics. For more information about the Seminar on Transition for Newly-Elected Mayors, please contact Christian Flynn.