Herman Kehrli Award


The Herman Kehrli Award is granted to a city employee who has provided lasting benefits to their community through exceptional contributions to city government.  It recognizes the outstanding public service career of Herman Kehrli, who was executive secretary of the League of Oregon Cities and director of the University of Oregon’s Bureau of Governmental Research and Service (BGRS) from 1933 to 1966.  Kehrli received the first award in 1988; he passed away in 1990 at the age of 88.

About Herman Kehrli

In 1933, the Oregon Board of Higher Education established the Bureau of Municipal Research and Service at the University of Oregon, and the League located its headquarters in the same office.  Under Herman Kehrli’s leadership, the joint program immediately put in place an ambitious agenda of research, consultation and training in city government affairs.  The quality of Oregon city government today is due in large part to this program and the high standards of its founders. 

A native Oregonian, Kehrli was a high school teacher and served as executive secretary of the City Club of Portland.  He held a deep conviction that public service is a calling of great dignity and profound significance to community, state and national life.  Kehrli’s impressive contributions to state and local government includes:

  • The Bureau’s model city charters, which gave substance and form to municipal home rule in Oregon;
  • Promotion of the council/manager form of city government;
  • Chief designer of Oregon’s Public Employees Retirement System; and
  • Leadership that established the state civil service system and reorganized state government after World War II.


Any city employee from any size city is eligible to be nominated for the Kehrli Award. 

The Selection Process

The selection committee will be comprised of volunteer city officials and several current LOC Board members.  The selection committee may grant the award to multiple nominees if it is determined that more than one nominee is deserving of the award.  The selection committee reserves the right to withhold the bestowal of an award in any year. 

In making its determination, the selection committee will consider the following factors:

  • The nominee’s contributions which reflect significant service, as compared to others, to the nominee’s city, regional government, the League of Oregon Cities, and other municipal and professional organizations, with due consideration of the size of the nominee’s city.
  • The nominee’s leadership in their own city, regionally, the League of Oregon Cities, and at the state or national levels.
  • Whether the nominee has been recognized by others for their contributions to local government and community.
  • The level of public esteem the nominee has achieved and the influence they have had in raising the prestige of city government service.
  • A demonstration of high ethical principles and conduct.
  • The depth and breadth of support for the nominee from within and outside the nominee’s own city.
  • The degree to which the nominee would be readily identified by peers and colleagues as a role model/example of exceptional public service.
  • A demonstration of professionalism in the nominee’s field and stability in his/her overall employment history.


Nominations may be submitted by anyone; the nominator need not be from the nominee’s city.  Submissions are due by September 13, 2021.

Nomination form and submission instructions