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Robert J. O'Neill Scholarship

Interested in Attending Big Ideas?


Apply today for a $1,000 scholarship to attend the BIG Ideas Meeting in Raleigh, NC.

Calling all mid-career local government professionals, the Alliance for Innovation will be offering one scholarship to attend the BIG Ideas meeting in Raleigh, NC this fall. This is a perfect opportunity to engage with approximately 100 leaders in local government. Applications are due by August 4, so don't wait to submit your application.

About Robert J. O'Neill

Robert J. O’Neill Jr. was Executive Director of the International City/County Management Association (ICMA) from 2002 - 2016 and an Alliance for Innovation Board of Director’s member from 2006 - 2016. As a founding board member of the Alliance for Innovation, he played an instrumental role in the creation of the partnership of the Alliance, ICMA, and ASU. He was among the visionary Board of Director members that saw a need to create a safe place for local government leaders to come together and discuss the larger issues impacting local governments—and thus BIG Ideas was born.

Prior to joining ICMA, O’Neill served as president of the National Academy of Public Administration from 2000 to 2002. He was elected as a NAPA Fellow in 1997.

From 1997 to 2000, O’Neill served as Fairfax County, Virginia executive, where he was credited with developing a series of strategies aimed at revitalizing older residential communities and commercial areas as well as launching a series of initiatives focused on performance and results-driven management.

O’Neill’s “reinvention” of the government of Hampton, Virginia, as city manager from 1984 to 1997, was widely recognized; his many accomplishments include downtown- and waterfront-revitalization initiatives as well as the development of a nationally recognized youth-at-risk program.

About the Robert J. O'Neill Scholarship

SafeBuiltUpon retirement from ICMA and the Alliance Board, the Robert J. O’Neill, Jr. Scholarship to the BIG Ideas seminar was created to be awarded to one early to mid-career local government professional. The scholarship, partially underwritten by SAFEbuilt, will be $1,000 to cover event registration and aid with travel expenses.

How to Apply

To apply, write an essay answering the questions below and submit to ballen@transformgov.org by Friday, August 4.

  1. How does attending BIG Ideas fit into your career development?
  2. How would you use the experience of attending BIG Ideas in your home organization?

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