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).
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 joined the Local Government Center (LGC) in July 2014. She currently manages the certified education programs the LGC offers for local government officials, provides governance and leadership workshops, 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.
Lydia joined the Local Government Center in April 2022. She currently coordinates the various education and accreditation programs, organizes the Center’s annual conferences and events, and manages the office. Lydia earned her bachelor’s degree in English Literature from Montana State University in 2012. She went on to spend seven years at the University of Iowa earning her master’s degree and Ph.D. in 19th Century British Literature, while also teaching, tutoring, researching, and writing. Before joining the Local Government Center team, Lydia worked as a rural mail carrier.
Before Troy came to the LGC in 2021, he retired from a 33-year public agency leadership career, managing nearly every primary area of local governments. He built capital improvement projects in public works; patrolled streets as a police officer; removed blight and managed homeless programs; secured millions in infrastructure and public safety funding; developed and implemented strategic plans; directed risk management programs; created and managed succession planning and next generation initiatives; and was the architect of a billion dollars in economic development. Troy holds bachelor’s and MPA degrees and completed the Harvard Kennedy School of Government Senior Executives in State and Local Government program.