Writer: Roger Nielsen
Gov. Nathan Deal addresses graduating members of Georgia’s Certified Public Manager program. The graduation ceremony recognized the first mixed group of state and local government managers to earn certificates through the Institute of Government’s nationally accredited CPM program.
Gov. Nathan Deal honored more than two dozen state and local government supervisors for their commitment to excellence in leadership at a recent graduation ceremony for the University of Georgia’s Certified Public Manager® (CPM) program.
“To be a good leader takes hard work, surrounding yourself with talented people and the ability to listen. I congratulate all of you for being part of this program, and I congratulate you further in wanting to make yourselves better leaders,” Deal said.
The June 28 graduation ceremony recognized the first class that included a mix of state and local government managers to complete the Georgia CPM program. UGA’s CPM curriculum is accredited by the National Certified Public Manager Consortium and is provided exclusively in Georgia by the Carl Vinson Institute of Government.
The 300-hour CPM curriculum helps state and local government managers enhance their leadership skills through in-class learning, independent study and a capstone project that addresses an issue affecting their individual agencies. Courses explore how self-awareness impacts leadership and collaboration, effective ways to establish a collaborative work culture and proven methods to improve performance and engagement. Participants earn nationally recognized certification.
CPM graduates like Olivia A. Duke, a policy coordinator with the Governor’s Office of Planning and Budget, gained a greater understanding of the difference between self-image and public perception.
“My biggest takeaway was that my perception of myself and how others see me can be quite different,” Duke said. “Now, my colleagues recognize that I’m more receptive to feedback. That gives them more buy-in and helps them feel like they’re having an influence in decision-making.”
Managers who earn certification are fluent in leadership skills that typically aren’t taught in traditional academic programs, said Institute of Government faculty member Walt McBride, Georgia CPM program director.
One hundred public managers, including those in this class, have graduated from the current CPM program since it began in 2016. Class speaker Steve Fanczi, deputy executive director of the Georgia Building Authority, said the experience allowed him to watch fellow leaders grow and develop.
“CPM gives you a great foundation in the basics and principles of leadership,” Fanczi said.