2015 National League of Cities’ Nashville Congress of Cities
Photo, from left to right: Reta Jo Lewis, Senior Resident Fellow, The German Marshall Fund of the United States; Melodee Colbert Kean, President, The National League of Cities; Clarence Anthony, Executive Director, The National League of Cities.
GMF Senior Resident Fellows Reta Jo Lewis and Lora Berg led a workshop on November 5th in Nashville, Tennessee at the National League of Cities’ (NLC) 2015 Congress of Cities. Their workshop, “Becoming A Global-Minded Local Leader,” focused on how global engagement at the local level can drive economic development and tourism and share international best practices and solutions to challenging problems. To strengthen the global engagement competency and international outreach of the diverse pool of participating local leaders, Lewis and Berg presented the German Marshall Fund’s tailored Eight Assets of Global Engagement designed for state and local leaders.
On November 7th, Lewis moderated an NLC University workshop on the global economy and local growth. She was joined by Mayor Joel Bruneau, Caen, France; Vice Mayor David Briley, Nashville, Tennessee; and Councilman John Chapman, Alexandria, Virginia to discuss how to scale up from heritage exchange programs such as Sister Cities to economic partnerships, promoting successful, sustainable local development advanced through greater global engagement. Caen already has a Sister City relationship with both Alexandria and Nashville, and Mayor Bruneau reflected on the importance of greater transatlantic cooperation between cities, stating, "Beyond these Sister City links established as a result of joint history, I am keen to see how our friendship can perhaps today contribute to our commercial and business relations. In both our nations, we have our individual specificities and our qualities. It therefore seems that the understanding developed through these Sister City relationships may be helpful in contributing to the establishment of successful business links."
These two workshops were powerful opportunities for GMF to showcase its commitment to bringing together subnational leaders to strengthen transatlantic relations, while also confirming GMF’s dynamic partnership with the NLC.
The four-day long Congress of Cities and Exposition is the largest gathering of local elected officials and staff in the country, and is designed to offer exceptional educational and networking opportunities to increase the effectiveness of local leaders.