The School of Public Policy hosted university and state leaders on October 8, 2019 to celebrate the launch of the Elected Executive Leadership Program (EXCEL). A partnership between the university and Rushern L. Baker, III, EXCEL will prepare the next generation of local executives.
“This program will provide an opportunity for executives from around the country to network and think deeply and broadly about the issues that the School of Public Policy is addressing,” said Rushern L. Baker, III, former Prince George’s County executive.
To help launch the program, speakers also included Wallace Loh, University of Maryland president, Robert C. Orr, dean of the School of Public Policy, The Honorable Martin O’Malley, The Honorable David Craig, Mayor of Havre de Grace, Maryland, and Hadi Sedigh, chief innovation officer, National Association of Counties (NACO).
Baker spearheaded the program’s creation to help train and support new county executives who have never had formal training and may not currently have a mentor.
“The need for a program in leadership for county executives is generated excitement at the state and local level,” said university President Wallace D. Loh. “The EXCEL program, here at UMD, is only the second program of its kind in the country.”
EXCEL’s first cohort of 15 - 20 executives will begin the program with a 3-day meeting in December, which will feature Mitch Landrieu, former mayor of New Orleans, as a keynote speaker. Throughout the year, the program will also feature a luncheon series at NACO and an event at the U.S. Conference of Mayors.
“People who live in the counties and municipalities are directly affected by the decisions made by executive leaders,” said Dean Orr. “This program will prepare executives to help their constituents and develop innovative changemakers who to help solve problems and teach others how to do the same.”
EXCEL is a key component of the School’s growing State and Local Governance Initiative, which strives to prepare leaders who develop and recommend innovative ways to improve government services.
For more information on the EXCEL program, click here.