Are you considering serving in non-profit leadership or municipal elected office? Do you have an interest in public service? Do you wish to expand your leadership skills? Or do you want to understand our governance system better from those who have lived it?  If so then the Public Office Seminars are for you.

For more info, please email our program coordinator, Lynn Zanatta at lzanatta [at]

POP recognizes that formal classroom learning has important but limited value in understanding the politics of elected governance. This is a subject that is best learned from the experiences of practitioners. For this reason the Seminars will have some formal teaching but will be mostly insights and case studies from those who have experienced elected governance first hand.

Each semester of Public Office Seminars will have ten weekly sessions designed as flexible opportunities appropriate for prospective candidates who are already fully engaged in work or community service.

The first hour will feature Guest Lecturers who are former elected officials. They will share their insights and experiences, successes and failures and lessons learned. The lecturers will be mostly former public officials, but will also include campaign professionals and engaged academics.

The last hour will feature campaign professionals, academics and journalists who support, observe and critique those in elected public office.

All participants are encouraged to attend Council Meetings and consultation processes as well as engage in self study on relevant topics.

Case study sessions with former officials:

  • What led to public life
  • Lessons on winning and losing
  • Case studies on successful and unsuccessful initiatives
  • Examples of the role of mentors
  • High points and low points
  • Advice to prospective candidates
  • Balancing friends and family
  • Exit strategy

Formal class study topics:

  • Historical context on adversarial politics
  • Philosophical issues
  • Structure of government
  • Media and social media
  • GOTV getting out the vote
  • Effective public speaking
  • Ethical issues
  • Politics and the law

The cost of the program is $470.4 (inc tax) for the 10 week semester. Some sponsorships are available for full semester or portions. To inquire about registering please contact Lynn Zanatta with a summary about your background and what interests you about this project.

write an email by typing ‘info’ and then an ‘att’ sign and after that type ‘global’

Past 2019 Seminars:

Session One: March-April, 2019

Class Notes from Session One

Session Two: September-November, 2019

Videos from Session Two