Mayors' Institute on City Design

Alumni Advising

Matching alumni mayors with design experts for in-depth follow-up.


MICD Alumni Advising helps alumni mayors continue addressing the complex challenges facing today’s cities, beyond the traditional MICD Institute Session model.

“The MICD Alumni Advising process was helpful in providing outside perspective and expertise to our project. The advisors did their research, asked the right questions, and brought to the table relevant examples from around the nation.”
Terry Brunner  |  Director, Metropolitan Redevelopment Agency, Albuquerque, NM


During this program, two design experts (the “Resource Team”) consult with each mayor and two of their city staff on their MICD project, with a strong focus on immediate next-step recommendations and implementation strategies. MICD provides the Resource Team with a modest honorarium for their time.

Time Commitment

The expected time commitment for mayors is minimal. Each mayor meets with MICD staff for a short orientation call, honing in on a key question or issue that will benefit most from follow-up assistance. Once the Resource Team selection is made by MICD, the mayor and their two selected staff members participate in two 60-minute virtual meetings to explore solutions and next steps.


Some rounds may be geared toward alumni of recent sessions or specific programs (such as the MICD Just City Mayoral Fellowship), or begin with an open call for interest. Stay tuned to our email list for future opportunities to participate.

How It Works

  • 01

    Attend MICD programs.

    Attend an Institute Session or other MICD program.

  • 02

    Identify a Challenge

    Select a key question or issue from your MICD project that would benefit from follow-up assistance.

  • 03

    Meet the Team

    Meet your Resource Team, introduce your key staff, and present an overview of your project.

  • 04

    Refine Your Project

    Collaborate with the Resource Team on initial recommendations and provide further context.

  • 05

    Final Meeting

    The Resource Team makes final recommendations for your project.

  • 06

    Stay in Touch

    Stay tuned for more MICD alumni opportunities.


What is the cost of this program?

There is no cost to participating mayors or cities. Resource Team members receive a modest honorarium for their participation from MICD.

What does the Alumni Advising experience look like?

MICD Alumni Advising offers targeted follow-up assistance for alumni of MICD sessions or other MICD programs. Each mayor is matched with two design leaders with expertise relevant to their selected project. The group works closely together, along with key members of the mayor’s staff, over a series of two virtual meetings. This creates an informal, candid environment for sharing ideas and recommendations to move the selected project forward.

How are alumni programs different from typical MICD sessions?

Typical MICD Institute Sessions are 2.5-day intensive technical assistance workshops where mayors engage leading design and development experts to find solutions to the most critical planning and design challenges facing their cities, through the exploration of specific projects.

MICD Alumni Advising builds on a mayor’s experience at other MICD programs to offer in-depth follow-up assistance. With a dedicated team of two design leaders, the group dives into engagement strategies, funding ideas, or other key questions identified by the mayor. This format allows for a greater level of detail of follow-up recommendations and a greater understanding of the design process.

How can I express interest?

We also encourage you to contact MICD staff directly to discuss this program in more detail.

Please note that participation is extremely limited and may be geared towards alumni of specific MICD programs.

Can I bring staff?

Each mayor is invited to include 2 key staff members for the duration of the engagement.

Can I request specific Resource Team members?

We aim to match you with two Resource Team alumni whose expertise is particularly well-suited for your project. You are welcome to request specific types of expertise and/or specific Resource Team members you’ve worked with in the past, though matches cannot be guaranteed.

What types of projects are eligible?

Past MICD projects are eligible for Alumni Advising. Projects in very early stages may result in big-picture, visionary discussions, while projects in later stages entail more fine-grained implementation advice. 

How can I get involved as a design leader?

Past MICD Resource Team alumni are eligible to serve on Alumni Advising teams. While this program is by invitation only, we encourage you to contact us with interest or sign up for our email list to learn about upcoming opportunities.

For design leaders who have not previously served as MICD Resource Team members, click here to learn more about getting involved in MICD.

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