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The Center for Excellence in Public Leadership was founded in May of 1997 as the Center for Excellence in Municipal Management. The Center was housed in the Department of Public Administration within the School of Business. In response to the District of Columbia’s significant transition to self-governance from receivership, the School’s then-Dean, David Fowler, worked in collaboration with the City Administrator and partners such as the Fannie Mae Foundation, the Cafritz Foundation and the World Bank to develop a program to train and develop middle managers in the DC government. The resulting program, the Program for Excellence in Municipal Management (PEMM) was the first non-state accredited Certified Public Manager Program in the nation.
In 2005, the Center changed its name to the Center for Excellence in Public Leadership, reflecting its expanding work with the federal, local and municipal governments.
May 1997: The Center for Excellence in Municipal Management is established. The first Program for Excellence in Municipal Management (PEMM) is offered.
Summer 2000: The Center takes over the administration of the Contemporary Executive Development Program, now known as the Senior Leader Program. This 10-day program offers executive training to senior managers seeking entry into the Senior Executive Service.
August 2001: In partnership with the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments, the Center creates the Regional Executive Development Program (REDP), the first regional CPM program to be accredited by the National Consortium for Certified Public Manager Programs.
2005: The Center becomes part of the College of Professional Studies.
May 2007: The Center celebrates its 10th Anniversary by hosting program alumni and founders David Fowler and Calvin Cafritz.
May 2012: The Center launches Master’s in Public Leadership with a Specialization in Multi-Sector Management degree program. Sixteen participants make up initial cohort.
May 2012: CEPL launches its 15th anniversary year celebration with a special program featuring Suzanne Thomassen-Krauss, Senior Textile Curator at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History discussing the restoration of the “Star-Spangled Banner” flag.