Southeast’s Avila earns elite opportunity

Yolanda Avila
[Courtesy photo/file]

Councilor part of Harvard program for state and local leaders

Colorado Springs City Councilor Yolanda Avila will be in Cambridge, Massachusetts, for much of the month, attending an elite training program for senior executives in local government.

Avila, who represents Southeast Colorado Springs in the city’s fourth district, is attending the Senior Executives in State and Local Government program. The three-week session is an offering of the Harvard Kennedy School of the John F. Kennedy School of Government.

The program, located on the Harvard University campus, began Monday, June 3, and runs through the 21st.

“The program will consist of an inspiring and challenging learning environment,” Avila wrote in an email. “Each day the schedule is intensive and filled with classroom sessions, group work and networking meals.”

Avila wrote that she joins a cohort of 75 local governmental leaders from across the U.S. and abroad.

According to the program website, participants will: challenge assumptions about how to exercise leadership in the public sector; develop new conceptual frameworks for addressing policy issues; examine innovative partnerships and new models of collaborative governance; explore the relationship between citizens and their governments; understand the behavioral dimensions of decision making; and exchange ideas with experienced faculty and their fellow-student colleagues. The program costs $16,500, according to the website; however, Avlia received a highly competitive fellowship from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to attend.

“I am so grateful to be a part of this prestigious program to bring back the tools and experiences to serve this amazing community,” she wrote.

Avila has represented the district since 2017.

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