Strategic Partners

The Alliance for Innovation is inspiring innovation to advance communities with the help of our partners Arizona State University.First and foremost, membership in the Alliance for Innovation includes access to all services, resources, products and learning opportunities for an entire local government organization (all employees, elected and appointed officials, and advisory boards are eligible).  The Alliance focuses on all forms of local governments and academic institutions with a teaching or research interest in public administration.

The Alliance for Innovation, formerly the Innovation Groups, has been expanding its network to more and more local governments and creating partnerships since its inception, but its most important partnership was the partnership established between the Alliance for Innovation and the International City/County Management Assocation (ICMA) and Arizona State University (ASU).

In late 2002, earnest talks of forming an alliance between The Innovation Groups and The International City/County Management Association (ICMA) began. IG and ICMA initiated co-sponsored workshops to test the waters of this new relationship. With the retirement of founder Bob Havlick in June, 2003, a new era began when former Texas City Manager Bob Hart became the IG President in December, 2003. Hart worked with the IG Board and ICMA Executive Director Bob O’Neill to find a key third partner. All parties agreed that a university partner was essential to forge an alliance that would bring cutting-edge ideas and applied research to local governments. IG issued a request for interest among universities and with ICMA began the search for the last peg of the alliance.

On June 2, 2006, the Innovation Groups Board unanimously voted to choose Arizona State University as the university partner for the alliance. The ICMA Board also approved ASU as the alliance. In Yuma, AZ on October 13 and 14, three representatives of ASU and three representatives of ICMA joined the IG board for the first alliance board meeting. The group amended the IG bylaws to incorporate the new board structure and decided that IG would become the “Alliance for Innovation.” This new name was put to a vote of the IG membership in May, 2007 and passed with 179 “Yes” votes, 4 “No” votes, and 161 with no response. On June 1, 2007, the organization legally became the “Alliance for Innovation, Inc.” The Alliance continues today with partner Arizona State University.

When the Innovation Groups (Alliance for Innovation), ICMA and Arizona State University, partnered to transform local government, they did so by accelerating the development and dissemination of innovations through research. Capitalizing on the strengths of each of its components, the Alliance launched with a vision to become the premier force for innovation in local governance. 

To fulfill its intended purpose, the Alliance for Innovation, in collaboration with ICMA's Center for Management Strategies created a framework to disseminate new leading practices to local governments. The result of this framework is the Enhanced Research Partnership.

As the Enhanced Research Partnership has grown, research on these leading practices has been developed and can be found on the Alliance website. 

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The Quality Texas Foundation helps businesses, hospitals, schools, government agencies and non-profits improve performance. Quality Texas educates, trains, assesses, provides feedback and recognizes organizations committed to a journey of excellence. Quality Texas encourages use of the Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence and other methods that drive efficiency and effectiveness. This saves jobs, improves communities and creates a stronger state and nation, and ultimately a better world for mankind. 

ICMA, the International City/County Management Association, advances professional local government through leadership, management, innovation, and ethics. 

Founded in 1914, ICMA, the International City/County Management Association, advances professional local government through leadership, management, innovation, and ethics. Our vision is to be the leading professional association dedicated to creating and supporting thriving communities throughout the world. 

ICMA's members are the professional city, town, and county managers who are appointed by elected officials to oversee the day-to-day operation of our communities. The association promotes and embraces diversity among its members, including a governing board that reflects ICMA’s membership and the communities served.

ICMA provides member support; publications; data and information; peer and results-oriented assistance; and training and professional development to over 11,000 city, town, and county managers, their staffs, and other individuals and organizations throughout the world. The management decisions made by ICMA's members affect millions of individuals living in thousands of communities, from small villages and towns to large metropolitan areas.

ICMA is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that offers a wide range of services to its members and the local government community. It also performs mission-driven grant and contract-funded work both in the U.S. and Internationally, which is supported by federal government agencies, foundations, and corporations.


The Texas Municipal League exists solely to provide services to Texas cities. The purpose of the League--Empowering Texas cities to serve their citizens. Since its formation in 1913, the League's mission has remained the same: to serve the needs and advocate the interests of its members.

Membership in the League is voluntary and is open to any city in Texas. From the original 14 members, TML's membership has grown to 1,158 cities.

Member benefits:

  • Legal guidance and information on municipal legal matters
  • Representation for your city on municipal legislative issues at the state and federal levels
  • Onsite and online training that covers a variety of city-related topics
  • Key publications, such as the Texas Town & City magazine, the Handbook for Mayors and CouncilmembersHow Cities WorkTexas City Officials Directory, and A Guide to Becoming a City Official
  • Networking and problem-solving opportunities
  • Free advertising on the TML Career Center