Bloomberg Announces Tel Aviv University’s Program to Develop Israeli Municipal Leaders
Michael R. Bloomberg, philanthropist and former mayor of New York, was in Israel on Sunday to announce the launch of the Bloomberg-Sagol Center for City Leadership at Tel Aviv University, a new program aimed at developing the leadership skills of Israeli mayors. , in hopes of providing better municipal services to citizens of all geographic and demographic backgrounds.
The Center will run an annual cohort-based program for up to 20 mayors and their top city aides, with the first group expected to be announced in fall 2022.
Attendance expenses for city employees will be covered by the program, which is funded by both Bloomberg Philanthropies and the Sagol Family Foundation.
According to a statement from Bloomberg Philanthropies, the center aims to develop participants’ leadership and management skills and improve city hall operations by building “essential capacities” in the areas of “fostering collaboration, using data in the decision-making, negotiation, crisis management and response, resident engagement, and the generation and implementation of innovative ideas.
Specifically, the program has five components: executive training provided by TAU and capped by a visit to New York and Boston for additional training by Harvard faculty; selection and support of an innovation project specific to the city; hosting TAU scholarship students in participating town halls for a 10-week summer internship; the creation of a local government alumni network; and convene scholars for applied research on topics related to city management and effective leadership.
The program is modeled after a similar program sponsored by Bloomberg Philanthropies at Harvard University, which has trained 196 mayors and 318 leaders from 25 countries over the past five years, according to Bloomberg Philanthropies.
The Israeli sister program has been in development since 2018, with the help of Yossi Sagol, whose family owned the Israeli manufacturer Keter Plastic and whose family foundation helps defray the costs of the new program.
Israel has about 260 cities and towns headed by a mayor eligible for the program, according to Bloomberg Philanthropies, and participants are expected to be selected from municipalities across all geographic and socioeconomic spectrums, including Jewish and Arab mayors.