"To strengthen the capacities of local governmental units
and provide training, technical assistance, and research
services to elected, appointed, and administrative officials."


Culbertson Hall MSU Bozeman

The MSU Local Government Center is located in Culbertson Hall on the beautiful Montana State University campus in Bozeman, MT. 

The origins of the Local Government Center lie in Montana's unique process of periodic citizen review of the state's municipal and county governments. Montana's constitution gives citizens of local jurisdictions the option to elect a study commission every 10 years to review the structure of their county or municipal government. In 1985, the Local Government Center was established at Montana State University to provide assistance to counties and municipalities and their study commissions.

The Montana Board of Regents officially authorized the Local Government Center in 1989 (Item 62-204-RO389, June 21, 1989). As the Center grew, it broadened its efforts to assist Montana's local governments. In 1993, the Montana State Legislature formally established the mission of the Center to "strengthen the capacities of Montana's local governmental units to deliver essential services efficiently and to provide training, technical assistance, and research to local officials" (MCA 20-25-237). 



   We work to support Montana's cities, towns, and counties by partnering 
   with local government practitioners and their professional associations.



Dan Clark, Director of the Montana State University Local Government Center

Dan Clark


Email:  daniel.clark@montana.edu

Phone:  406.994.7756

Dan Clark joined the Local Government Center in April 2008. He has been serving Montana since 1997.  Prior to joining the MSU Local Government Center, he served as the Statewide Director for the Montana Horizons program from 2006 to 2008. Previously, Dan worked as a Montana State University Extension faculty member in Teton County from 1997 to 2006.  During this time, he served as Mayor of Choteau, Montana for four years.  He earned his bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Arizona in Agricultural Education and taught high school agriculture for three years before joining Extension.  


Ashley Kent

Associate Director

Email:  ashleykent@montana.edu

Phone:  406.994.6657

Ashley joined the Local Government Center (LGC) in July 2014. She currently manages the certified education programs the LGC provides to local government officials and is developing new educational tools to enhance the LGC training offerings. Ashley earned her bachelor's degree in Business Management from Montana State University in 2012 and her Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Montana in 2017. Prior to the Local Government Center, Ashley worked in other departments at MSU including Human Resources and Institutional Equity. 


Jane MacDonald

Jane MacDonald

Program Manager

Email:  jane.macdonald@montana.edu 

Phone:  406.994.6694

Jane joined the Local Government Center in October 2018 as the program manager. She manages the curriculum-based educational offerings and daily operations of the Center.  Prior to the Local Government Center, Jane spent over 10 years working in the Fitness industry, including managing athletic events and fundraisers. Jane spent the early part of her career working for Hospice in Elkhart, Indiana and NW Human Services in Fargo, ND and Lutheran Social Services in Minot, ND. Jane earned her bachelors degree from Concordia College, MN in International Relations, German and Russian and her master’s degree from NDSU, Fargo in Clinical Counseling.