What we do.

We build + activate cross-sector teams.

CEOs for Cities is a national city-learning network. We curate smart ideas + benchmark city success through our City Vitals. We connect cross-sector leaders through our network of City Clusters. We catalyze collaborative change through our City Dividends. We accelerate progress through our Prize Challenges.


Leaders use CEOs for Cities’ research to benchmark city performance and our frameworks to realize gains from incremental change. Big data isn’t a buzzword. It’s vital to city success.
Glimpse what’s in our Resource Library.


CEOs for Cities has grown the only national, cross-sector network that connects city leaders + changemakers, and shares research, smart ideas + best practices for economic success.
Find the specifics on member benefits.


National meetings, workshops and competitions help members ditch the status quo. Our events offer platforms for idea exchange, solution scaling, networking, debate and education.
Get ready to roll up your sleeves.

CEOs for Cities Members in National Network
Cities Represented by Member Network
National Meeting attendees
Metros ranked in City Vitals Research

Why join?

You are the new CEO.

City changemakers are the new CEOs. Leadership isn’t born of elections or corner offices. We’re cross-sector leaders — regardless of title — who love our cities and don’t wait for others to lead. That’s what we call a CEO. We’re planners, council members, college presidents, bloggers, entrepreneurs, business executives, social advocates, coders, mayors and architects from cities around the country. What kind of CEO are you?

You’re not the type to wait around for someone else to address your community’s issues. But you can’t do it on your own. CEOs for Cities builds cross-sector teams (we call them City Clusters) to make real progress happen. Consider it an all-star team. You don’t get a uniform. But you do get these tools to get in the game.


City Vitals Research

CEOs for Cities measures six key indicators and benchmarks city performance for the top U.S. metro regions. Where does yours rank?

National Meetings

Imagine it: hundreds of cross-sector leaders gathering to exchange the smartest ideas for making progress happen. We do it twice a year.

City Dividends Framework

Can small changes produce big economic dividends? Our framework outlines how cities can realize huge gains via incremental change.

National Network

Our most powerful asset is our community. This network features thought leaders, experts, dreamers and doers you should know.

Power of the Prize

Competition fosters innovation, and our competitions yield real results. Participants implement actual strategies and share the how-to.

Continuing Education

Hands-on workshops, webinars and regular doses of recommended readings keep members sharp on solutions and best practices.
Our Work

City news, trends + research highlights

The Blog

Mutual Trust & Shared Purpose

Mutual Trust & Shared Purpose

By Rene Gellerman, Sr. Vice President Quad Cities Chamber; Loaned Executive, Q2030 Regional Action Plan; Shared ownership. //  It was on a CEOs for Cities trip to Columbus, Ohio, this past year that I discovered the true spirit of that term. On tours of an art museum and a local college, I was taken aback by the…

September Changemaker — Topeka, KS Cluster

September Changemaker — Topeka, KS Cluster

September Changemaker is Topeka, Kansas // This month’s Changemaker is Topeka, Kansas!  The city has recently had major revitalization in its downtown and is one of our newest City Learning Clusters. CEOs for Cities interviewed city three leaders in Topeka to learn more about the work they are doing. Topeka, KS is on the rise…

August Changemaker — Sherry Ristau

August Changemaker — Sherry Ristau

Sherry Ristau, President & CEO, Community Foundation of the Great River Bend // Quad Cities has a very interesting dynamic. Can you talk a little bit about it? My husband Bruce and I moved to the Iowa-Illinois Quad Cities three years ago so I could take the leadership role at the Community Foundation of the Great…

Community-based Solutions for Individuals with Autism and Other Different Abilities

Community-based Solutions for Individuals with Autism and Other Different Abilities

By Denise D. Resnik, Founder, CEO & President of First Place® AZ; Co-Founder Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center; and CEO, DRA Collective //  Taking stock of assets is essential, whether in business or within community development, , and most certainly in the case of people with different abilities. Too often, we look at our…

Vacant Spaces to Happening Places

Vacant Spaces to Happening Places

Top Main Image: CB20 in Phoenix (office + retail mixed-use), developed by Wetta Ventures, Image by Kitchen Sink Studios by Kimber Lanning, Executive Director, Local First Arizona //  Vacant Spaces to Happening Places | The Case for Preservation and Reuse In the current race to create high quality jobs, retain local talent and attract great companies,…

July Changemaker — Valerie Patton

July Changemaker — Valerie Patton

Valerie Patton – Senior Vice President-Inclusion and Talent Attraction and Executive Director, St. Louis Business Diversity Initiative // How can other cities develop a more diverse, inclusive and equitable workforce? The question today is really more about inclusion and equity. We really have to be intentional about who we are hiring, who we are in…

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