NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) – Newport News Mayor Phillip Jones, Assistant City Manager Ralph “Bo” Clayton and Director of Human Resources Allison Dichoso have been picked to take part in the seventh class of the Bloomberg Harvard City Leadership Initiative.

They join 40 mayors and 80 senior municipal leaders from around the world who will take part in the year-long professional management training program.

The leadership program will delve into several topics, including the development of new policies, engaging with residents, poverty reduction, equitable growth and jobs, climate, resiliency, affordable housing, transportation and infrastructure.

“It is an honor to be chosen to participate in the Bloomberg Harvard Leadership Initiative along with Bo and Allison,” Jones said in a statement. “This is an outstanding opportunity for us to engage with municipal leaders from across the world and learn innovative approaches to address complex challenges and improve the quality of life for our residents.”

Jones was one of the 40 mayors – representing nine countries and six continents – who recently joined Harvard faculty and management leaders in New York City.

Clayton and Dichoso, as well as two senior leaders from each city, will start later the program later this month.

The program combines classroom, virtual and field-based learning “to help these city leaders bolster their use of data and evidence, drive collaboration and innovation across sectors and deliver results.”

Each city will also be able to access executive education programs for members of their staff, including their economic development, civic engagement, human resources, and procurement leads. They will also have chances to host a Bloomberg Harvard City Hall Fellow for up to two years, and they will be able to access instructional research and materials to help city leaders improve their organizations.

Newport News is the only Virginia city represented. The program will also include mayors from Brazil, New Zealand, Canada, Italy, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Saudi Arabia and South Africa, as well as 14 states.