The Unger International Program for Local Government Leadership was established in November 2001 through a grant from Paul and Sonja Unger. The program is a collaborative effort of the Levin College to respond to the consulting, training, research and educational needs of local government leaders in emerging democracies. Its goal is to strengthen the management of public organizations and non-governmental organizations, to promote local governments that are professional, transparent, accountable, responsive, innovative, efficient, and characterized by reliance on the rule of law and active citizen participation. The program is committed to facilitating sustainable government reforms that result in long-term impact and systemic change. The program works with university faculties and local government leaders in emerging democracies to develop and implement academic and continuing education programs in public management for future and incumbent officials and managers in local governments and non-government organizations.
The Unger program offers a 40% cost share for services to emerging democracies.
The program is directed by Stuart Mendel. Its advisory board consists of representatives selected by Paul A. and Sonja Unger and one or more local government administrators.