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 Dividends

City Dividends

Learn More
October: An Integrated Approach: Aligning Sectors to Attack Poverty

October: An Integrated Approach: Aligning Sectors to Attack Poverty

Learn More
September Webinar – Weinland Park: Building systemic neighborhood change

September Webinar – Weinland Park: Building systemic neighborhood change

Learn More


All members receive one year of unlimited access to our national network, unique city success resource library, city communications, webinars, data and research publications. Plus: FREE registration to our renowned National Meeting.

City news, trends + research highlights

The Blog

June Changemaker — Wellington (Duke) Reiter, FAIA

June Changemaker — Wellington (Duke) Reiter, FAIA

Wellington (Duke) Reiter, FAIA, Senior Advisor to the President, ASU; Executive Director, University City Exchange, ASU //  Phoenix is hosting the 2017 National Meeting. What can attendees look forward to? First of all, thanks for inviting me to offer a few thoughts.  We are delighted to be hosting the CEOs for Cities National Meeting and we believe…

May Changemaker — Wim Wiewel

May Changemaker — Wim Wiewel

Wim Wiewel, President, Portland State //  What inspires you? I’m a city boy.   I’ve always focused on how to make cities economically strong, culturally vibrant, and socially just.  Urban universities are in a great position to contribute to these goals, and I’ve been fortunate to work on this for the past 38 years. How do…

The Million Dollar Question: How Can We Turn Everyday Spaces Into PLAYces?

The Million Dollar Question: How Can We Turn Everyday Spaces Into PLAYces?

by Priya Madrecki, Senior Manager, Strategic Communications, KaBOOM! // Oftentimes the most poignant childhood memories are the simplest ones: playing in the backyard with a sibling, learning baseball with a parent, or going to the playground after school. And, frequently, those memories involve play. Play is a critical component to healthy development, and to simply being a kid. It sets…

April Changemaker — Brian Stephens

April Changemaker — Brian Stephens

by Brian Stephens, CEO + Co-Founder, CAISSA Public Strategy // What inspires you? I get passionate about my city and people getting excited about Memphis and fighting for it. From the business perspective, our company’s primary objective is to help move opinion. We work on visibility for clients and to improve reputation. We work to…

March Changemaker — Mayor Paula Hicks-Hudson

March Changemaker — Mayor Paula Hicks-Hudson

Mayor Paula Hicks-Hudson of Toledo, Ohio //  What inspires you? I am inspired by the future and work at making each tomorrow better than today. What do you see as the greatest strengths and challenges of Toledo, Ohio? The citizens of Toledo are our greatest strength. They are hardworking, resilient, and compassionate.  One of our greatest challenges…

Cities That Listen

Cities That Listen

by Lee Fisher, Senior Advisor to CEOs for Cities //  “There’s battle lines being drawn. Nobody’s right when everybody’s wrong.” – Buffalo Springfield, “For What It’s Worth”  As we reflect on the recent presidential election and a new President, many enter this new year with mixed feelings of hope and anxiety. I want to share…

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