2021-22 Northwest Women's Leadership Academy (NWWLA) Cohort

State of Washington


A Woman’s Path to Leadership May Look Different…

Find Your Path Through the Northwest Women's Leadership Academy 

The Northwest Women’s Leadership Academy (NWWLA) is an exciting program officially sponsored by the Washington City/County Management Association (WCMA) to advance women from a variety of backgrounds in local government into leadership roles. The 2021-22 Academy includes 13 half-day virtual sessions presented by recognized public sector leaders and experts. Due to the ongoing pandemic, we estimate all sessions will be held virtually, but if it is safe to do so and logistically possible, future sessions may be held in person hosted by jurisdictions in the Central Puget Sound. The sessions will run from September 2021 to June 2022.

The women selected for this year’s Academy will comprise the third NWWLA cohort. The inaugural cohort of 32 members graduated in June 2019, and the second cohort of 30 members graduated in March 2021. 

Members of the 2021-22 NWWLA class will benefit from an outstanding program that is designed to:

  • Engender confidence in each individual participant to move forward with their local government leadership career including the CEO position.
  • Create an environment that supports cohort bonding and a long-lasting support network among women local government leaders in the region.
  • Match small groups of participants with a leader who will mentor and support their group through their cohort experience.
  • Teach tangible skills in each session that will lead to an increase in self-assurance, knowledge, and ability.
  • Connect each participant with resources and supports to grow in their career during their cohort year and after leaving the Academy.
  • Document measurable success.

The competitive application process will open on April 23, 2021 and completed applications are due by Friday, May 21, 2021. The Novak Consulting Group is supporting the NWWLA this year by providing access to their recruiting platform. You will need to apply below for your application to be considered. The application asks for your current contact and position information, whether you have your supervisor’s approval to apply, and four short—300 characters or less—essay questions. The essays touch on your interest in the NWWLA, where you envision your career in the future, and about the biggest professional challenges you face. 

This year’s Selection Committee, which is comprised of women leaders from the Cities of Connell, Kennewick, SeaTac, Seattle, and King County, will be looking to select a cohort that is racially and geographically diverse, with representation from public agencies across Washington state, and whose members work in a wide variety of positions and disciplines. The committee will be looking for women who are both early- and mid-career, who work in large as well as small jurisdictions, who support other women and their growth, and who demonstrate a strong commitment to public service. Non-binary applicants are also welcome to apply. 

As a part of the application process this year, you will be asked to film a 30 second elevator speech using The Novak Consulting Group's software. The software provides opportunities to practice before you submit your final version. You will receive an email containing the video questionnaire after applying and will need to record and submit your video by May 21 in order for your application to be considered complete. Do not wait until the last minute to submit your video!

The selection process will be completed by the end of June and admitted applicants will be expected to make a commitment to participating in the program by the end of July. In order to graduate in June 2022 with their class, the NWWLA expects all cohort participants to fulfill their commitment to attend all sessions and participate fully in the experience. 

The cost of participation in the Academy is $750 and scholarships are available for applicants whose agencies are unable to cover the cost of the training.

Please direct questions to NWWLA Recruitment and Selection Committee Chair Stephanie Lucash at stephanie.lucash@seattle.gov

Click here to watch the NWWLA Recruitment Video!

Application process opens on April 23.