The Cookingham-Noll Management Fellowship was started more than 60 years ago and is one of the oldest programs of its kind. L.P. Cookingham saw the need to give public management graduates an opportunity to experience first-hand the inner workings of a large city government and to continue their education in a real-life setting. Richard Noll exemplified Cookingham’s desire to train government leaders, both as a participant and a mentor, and in 2010 the program was renamed in memory of Mr. Noll. The Cookingham-Noll Management Fellowship Program aims to build upon Kansas City’s rich tradition of public management education.
The experience you gain as a Cookingham-Noll fellow will open many doors to your future in public service. Many Cookingham-Noll fellows have moved on to be city managers and assistant city managers in municipalities across the nation. Others are in positions of prominence in corporations, quasi-governmental organizations, and various departments within municipal government or their communities. Find out what some Cookingham-Noll Management Fellowship alumni
Biographies of Cookingham and Noll
L.P. Cookingham served as Kansas City’s city manager from 1940-1959. Cookingham’s 19-year tenure with the City of Kansas City was remarkable, since at that time, no other city manager had served a community that long anywhere in the nation. Before coming to Kansas City, Cookingham held positions in several Michigan cities, including four years as the first city manager of Saginaw.
While in Kansas City, Cookingham was largely responsible for moving the city from a previous era marked by municipal corruption and machine politics to a system of professional management. Cookingham’s innovative approach to public administration set a national standard for city administrators and made Kansas City a training ground for public management students.
Cookingham started a management fellowship program out of his personal desire to prepare future public managers.
Richard Noll came to the City of Kansas City in 1983 as a Cookingham Fellow. Upon finishing his one-year fellowship, Noll served as a budget analyst for five years, a budget supervisor for six years, and was appointed as an assistant city manager in 1995. Noll served as an advisor for the Cookingham Fellowship and was a mentor to many who came through the program. Noll, like L.P. Cookingham before him, was dedicated to training future local government and community leaders.
Noll was the embodiment of public service, with extensive involvement and leadership in the International City/County Management Association, Missouri City Management Association, American Society for Public Administration, University of Missouri Alumni Advisory Committee, and Urban Management Assistants of Mid America. He was recognized by the Mid-America Regional Council in 2007, with the Regional Leadership Award. Rich affected employees across the City with his enthusiasm, dedication and infectious (and unmistakable) laugh.