Sturgeon accepted into prestigious Harvard program |

Sturgeon accepted into prestigious Harvard program

Matt Sturgeon
Staff Photo |

Rifle City Manager Matt Sturgeon is attending the Harvard Kennedy School Senior Executives in State and Local Government Program in Boston.

Classes run from June 1-19. Assistant City Manager Kimberly Bullen is serving as city manager during that time. Sturgeon has been city manager for the past two years. He worked for the city for 11 years before his appointment as city manager in 2013.

“Matt continues to demonstrate strong leadership in dealing with difficult community issues, and council is excited for him to have this opportunity,” Rifle Mayor Randy Winkler said. “His enthusiasm and initiative to learn more about how to meet the changing needs of our community, helps strengthen our community as we move forward.”

The Harvard Kennedy School recognizes that “senior executives in state and local governments face greater demands from a skeptical public today than at any time in recent decades. Across the country, revenues have fallen sharply, the need for services has spiked and trust in government has plummeted,” according to the program website.

A peer originally recommended Sturgeon apply to the program several years ago, but he chose to wait. “I decided the timing was right,” Sturgeon said of his recent acceptance into the program. Specifically, Sturgeon said he is interested in discussing such issues as infrastructure and financing with fellow leaders from rural communities.

Admission to the program is both highly competitive and expensive. A partial fellowship from the Gates Family Foundation Fellowship is covering nearly the entire cost of the trip. The remaining $900 will come from Sturgeon’s travel budget. Typically, Sturgeon said he travels to the annual Colorado Municipal League conference, but this year he opted to attend the Harvard program instead.

“I’m excited,” Sturgeon said. “I hope to bring back things that are relevant and can be applied here in Rifle.”

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