Center for Municipal Finance

A wide range of opportunities to gain practical knowledge of public finance outside the classroom

Programs and Activities

The Center for Municipal Finance offers a wide range of extracurricular programming and activities for students pursuing the Certificate in Municipal Finance as well as others interested in learning more about the interplay between government, public policy, and financial decision-making. The center's programs and activities include:

Executive Education
The Center's Executive Education program provides a thorough foundation in municipal finance. This program is designed for new market participants as well as senior personnel who are not municipal finance specialists. Learn more.

Workshops

The Center sponsors two workshops: a traditional academic speaker series in which leading scholars present their latest research and a practical seminar, geared primarily toward students, in which prominent practitioners discuss their work.

Practica
The Center organizes faculty-led practicum courses where students are engaged to solve problems in public finance posed by public- and private-sector clients.

Forums
The Center holds an annual conference on topics in public finance. This is an opportunity to showcase faculty and practitioner research from around the country and or globally. The Center is also involved as a co-sponsor of the Municipal CFO Forum. A joint endeavor between the Harris School of Public Policy and the Office of the CFO of the City of Chicago, the Municipal CFO Forum brings municipal leaders from the nation's largest cities to gather and share ideas in a focused and thought-provoking environment.  

Visiting Scholars and Executives-in-Residence
The Center hosts visiting scholars, both senior and junior, for one-year fellowships designed to broaden and enliven the intellectual community at Chicago Harris. In addition, the Center invites leading practitioners for short-term residencies.

Upcoming Executives-in-Residence

  • January 17-19, 2017, Governor Bob Holden. While at Harris Governor Holden will give three lunchtime lectures. All lectures will take place in room 224 at Harris and lunch will be served at each one. Register for the lunches here. Governor Holden will also have office hours in room 221A after each lecture where students can meet with him one-on-one. Schedule a meeting with Governor Holden here.

International Activities
The Center plays a leading role globally in urban development finance by pursuing research, training, conferences, and relationships with visiting scholars, practitioners, and students around the world. 

Database
The Center aims to become a repository of data related to public finance research. This may include: metrics on pension liabilities, performance, and efficacy of reforms; data on the number of local governments and agencies in the U.S., their purposes, and how they are financed; data on revenue and expenditures and their growth rates; best financial practices among state and local governments; a database of major international urban infrastructure projects and their financial structure; and more.