Center for Local and Regional Governance (CLRG)


Our Mission

The Center promotes the economy, efficiency, effectiveness, and equity of local public services through engagement and dialogue with local government leaders to connect praxis and research across policy fields.


Our Goals

The goals of the Center are to:

  1. Develop and nurture relationships between local and regional public service leaders and the local academic community.
  2. Utilize the expertise of the academic community to inform public service improvements.
  3. Encourage community-engaged research that provides practical impact to public organizations. 


How We Accomplish Our Mission and Goals – What does the Center do?

We serve as a gateway for public service leaders to access expertise and opportunities at the School of Urban Affairs and Public Policy (SUAPP) at the University of Memphis. We partner with leaders in government and quasi-government organizations to assist them with accomplishing mission-driven work and reaching their strategic goals through general management and evaluation consulting services. This includes:

  • Strategic Planning – developing new and reinvigorating existing strategic plans based in contemporary research and best practices for organization operations and program delivery
  • Policy Analysis – providing research-based insight on existing organization policies and to inform future policy decisions
  • Stakeholder Engagement – providing stakeholder analysis, developing engagement strategies and communications, and delivering engagement experiences
  • Performance Management – harnessing the power of existing or new quantitative or qualitative programmatic data that assists with advocating organization impact
  • Organization Development and Change Management – develop change management plans that assist organization leaders with navigating change environments both internally and externally
  • Program Evaluation – providing formal to informal, large to small evaluation of existing programs to assist with understanding outcomes and process


Who Guides the Work of the Center?

The faculty of the Department of Public and Nonprofit Administration serve as the core members of the Center. The Center also has an Advisory Council comprised of public service leaders across multiple policy areas who serve as a sounding board for the Center and identify public service needs in the Memphis and Mid-South region.

Advisory Council Members 

  • Mairi Albertson, Chief of Staff, Office of the Mayor, City of Memphis
  • Mark Brown, Retired, City of Bartlett Chief Administrative Officer
  • Adam Hamric, Assistant Town Administrator, Town of Collierville
  • Brooke Hyman, Diversity Equity and Inclusion Officer, City of Memphis
  • Kate Kananura, Special Projects Manager, Center for Transforming Communities
  • Patrick Lawton, City of Germantown, retired City Administrator
  • Danielle Schonbaum, Finance Administrator, Shelby County Government
  • Keisha Walker, Director of Community Engagement, Memphis Housing Authority
  • Dorcas Young Griffin, Deputy Chief Administrative Officer, Shelby County Government