Civic Leadership Academy

Civic Leadership Academy

The Civic Leadership Academy is a free, 10-week course that encourages more informed, effective and inspired community and civic leadership by giving City residents an opportunity to learn about their local government.

You can find out when the application period opens for the next CLA session and other program updates from servePGH by signing up for our email list here.

  • See above "Application" tab to apply
  • See above "Particiaption" tab for more details

For more information about the Civic Leadership Academy, see our FAQ.

You may also contact Molly Onufer, the CLA coordinator, by calling 412-255-2694 or email molly.onufer@pittsburghpa.gov.

CLA Participation

Applications are now open for the Civic Leadership Academy!

Applicants will be notified of their acceptance.

For more details, please contact Molly Onufer, the CLA coordinator, by calling 412-255-2694 or email molly.onufer@pittsburghpa.gov

See the above Application tab

Program Description

The Civic Leadership Academy (CLA) is an engaging 10 week program that opens the doors of local government to the community. CLA was created to foster informed, effective, and inspired community leadership. The program includes tours, hands-on demonstrations, and other fun activities that give participants an insider view of how the City of Pittsburgh operates.

While it is a competitive application process, the program is free and we encourage residents across the city to apply. In each session, participants learn about departments across city government and the services that each provides to build a safer, more livable city for all of Pittsburgh. For more information please see Frequently Asked Questions page.

Invitiation for New Americans to Apply

The Spring 2017 class will continue a new citywide initiative, Welcoming Pittsburgh, by reserving 10 slots for New Americans and recent immigrants living in Pittsburgh. Not only will participants have a unique opportunity to understand the inner workings of local government, but they will now also benefit from a cross-cultural exchange.

We look forward to elevating the conversation together to increase the transparency, openness, and welcoming nature of our great city to all Pittsburghers.

For more information on Welcoming Pittsburgh, please contact alexis.vargas@pittsburghpa.gov.


  • Pittsburgh resident or business owner that operates in Pittsburgh.
  • Individuals actively involved in community organizations are encouraged to apply.
  • For more details, please contact Molly Onufer, the CLA coordinator, by calling 412-255-2694 or email molly.onufer@pittsburghpa.gov.
Topic Host
City Government 101: City Organization and Vision Office of Mayor William Peduto
Dollars and Sense Department of Finance
Developing and Revitalizing Communities Urban Redevelopment Authority
Planning for Tomorrow Department of City Planning
We Build This City Department of Public Works & Department of Parks and Recreation
Protecting Our Rivers Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority
Keeping Citizens Safe Police Bureau
Serving with Pride EMS and Fire Bureau
Neighborhood Necessities Department of Permits, Licenses, and Inspections & Parking Authority
Graduation : Closing Ceremony & Reception Office of Mayor William Peduto

CLA Application

FALL 2017

CLA Participant Testimonials

Felimelia Abenes-Douglass, Shadyside
"Amid the intrusion of modern technology, holding classes and learning in person from the government officials and employees themselves is still the best way to disseminate vital information about government functions and operations. It is amazing to have the chance to meet in person with those people behind the walls of local governance."
Dr. Ellen Roth, Point Breeze
"What caused the pension funding crisis and how did the Mayor arrive at his plan to solve it? What impact will drilling for Marcellus Shale in this region have on our City water supply? These are just a few examples of serious issues facing Pittsburgh that the Mayor's Civic Leadership Academy had the opportunity to explore. It was a privilege to be part of this diverse class and to meet with the highest City officials to learn about how City government handles routine matters as well as the tough ones."
Louis Stamerra, Brookline
"I remember our first class when we were asked what we planned on getting out of this course. I answered 'to understand how the City operates.' I did get a better understanding of how the City operates, but I also am glad I did this so I can teach my son about responsibility, to show him at the age of 16 how you must get involved in your community. Being a decent, involved, and responsible citizen goes much further than paying your taxes on time. In just 10 short weeks, I feel like a better, more informed, more invested, and more responsible citizen."
Carolyn Peeks, Larimer
"This was clearly a very informative and enlightening experience, learning about the city and our government, an experience that will never be forgotten. The privilege of meeting our very busy and hard-working City personnel was most rewarding, along with meeting new friends in other neighborhoods in the City. I would recommend this class to anyone."
Carlin Twedt, Shadyside
When I moved here I didn’t know much about the city of Pittsburgh. I came out of this program a whole new person, with a deeper understanding about the city than some life-long residents.”