Publication Date

Spring 2020

Degree Type

Master's Project

Degree Name

Master of Public Administration (MPA)


Urban and Regional Planning

First Advisor

Frances Edwards


Silver Tsunami in Public Sector, Baby Boomer Retirements, Leadership Development and Succession Planning, Santa Clara County Local Government Agencies, Santa Clara County Leadership Academy, Management Talent Exchange Program (MTEP), Knowledge Transfer And Retention, Organization Succession Plans


Although retirements are expected as part of a lifecycle within organizations, the Silver Tsunami potentially removes a large amount of valuable expertise and intellectual capital from public agencies. The implications of this wave of retirements not only include an inadequate number of senior executives in public service, but also the loss of institutional knowledge that has been acquired within agencies over time. This research will explore the implications of the wave of retirements of baby boomers from senior executive roles within the public sector, and analyze what Santa Clara County local government agencies are doing to prepare and develop the next generation of leaders. The study will answer the following question: How can Santa Clara County local government agencies develop the next generation of leaders as baby boomers exit the workforce?