Councilmember Cousens Earns Advanced Certificate of Municipal Leadership

Yakima City Councilmember Holly Cousens recently received an Advanced Certificate of Municipal Leadership from the Association of Washington Cities (AWC).

AWC’s Certificate of Municipal Leadership program recognizes city and town elected officials for accomplishing training in four core areas:

  • Roles, responsibilities and legal requirements
  • Public sector resource management
  • Community planning and development
  • Effective local leadership

Those who earn the advanced certificate continue to strive for excellence by attending conferences and trainings, serving their community, and further developing leadership skills.

“Being a city leader in Washington is a complex job,” said AWC Interim CEO Alicia Seegers Martinelli. “Through our CML program we are helping mayors and councilmembers better understand and address the challenges of effective and equitable leadership, including understanding the legal landscape, budget and resource management, planning and development, and more.

Cousens completed more than 60 hours of training credits and demonstrated community service to earn the Advanced Certificate of Municipal Leadership.

She previously received the AWC’s Certificate of Municipal Leadership last year, completing over 30 hours of training credits to earn that distinction.

Cousens represents District 7 on the Yakima City Council. She was elected to City Council in November 2015 and re-elected in November 2019. The Council appointed her to serve as assistant mayor during 2020-21.

Assistant Mayor Cousens teaches Business Technology courses at Yakima Valley College. She obtained two masters degrees from City University of Seattle, one in Organizational Leadership and the other in Business Administration (MBA)

Click City Council ( for more about the Yakima City Council.

AWC serves its members through advocacy, education and services. Founded in 1933, AWC is a private, nonprofit, nonpartisan corporation that represents Washington’s 281 cities and towns before the state legislature, the state executive branch, and with regulatory agencies.

Click AWC Home Page ( for more about AWC.