Carl Vinson Institute of Government
The Carl Vinson Institute of Government (CVIOG) is an organization that works closely with officials and employees from state and local governments in Georgia and internationally to help them achieve their missions and improve public service. CVIOG is a unit of the Office of Public Service and Outreach at the University of Georgia
University of Georgia
The University of Georgia is a public research university located in Athens, Georgia, United States. Founded in 1785, it is the oldest and largest of the state's institutions of higher learning and is one of multiple schools to claim the title of the oldest public university in the United States...

 (UGA) in Athens
Athens, Georgia
Athens-Clarke County is a consolidated city–county in U.S. state of Georgia, in the northeastern part of the state, comprising the former City of Athens proper and Clarke County. The University of Georgia is located in this college town and is responsible for the initial growth of the city...

, Georgia
Georgia (U.S. state)
Georgia is a state located in the southeastern United States. It was established in 1732, the last of the original Thirteen Colonies. The state is named after King George II of Great Britain. Georgia was the fourth state to ratify the United States Constitution, on January 2, 1788...


The Vinson Institute offers training programs for public officials and staff, conducts research on a broad range of questions relevant to state and local governments, and provides assistance to help those governments and agencies run more efficiently and effectively.


Originally established at the University of Georgia as the Institute of Public Affairs in 1927, the organization was charged with providing “a forum to study international, national, state, and local affairs and to make recommendations for improved governance.” It combined research, technical assistance, training, and publications.

Over the course of the following decades, the Institute of Public Affairs expanded to address the needs of the state’s rising population, and it underwent several name changes—Institute for the Study of Georgia Problems (1938), Institute of Law and Government (1953), and Institute of Government (1965). The organization finally became the Carl Vinson Institute of Government in 1983 when it was renamed in honor of Georgia congressman Carl Vinson
Carl Vinson
Carl Vinson was a United States Representative from Georgia. He was a Democrat and the first person to serve for more than 50 years in the United States House of Representatives...

, who served in the U.S. House of Representatives for more than 50 years.

The Vinson Institute moved its headquarters to its current location at the historic Lucy Cobb Complex
Lucy Cobb Institute
The Lucy Cobb Institute was a girls' school on Milledge Avenue in Athens, Georgia. It was founded by Thomas R.R. Cobb, and named in honor of his daughter, who had died of scarlet fever at age 14, shortly before construction was completed and doors opened; it was incorporated in 1859...

 in 1991. It also maintains offices on other parts of the UGA campus and in Atlanta, Georgia, near the Georgia State Capitol
Georgia State Capitol
The Georgia State Capitol, in Atlanta, Georgia, in the United States, is an architecturally and historically significant building. It has been named a National Historic Landmark and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It is the main office building of Georgia's government...



  • Director's Office
  • Governmental Services and Research
  • Governmental Training, Education, and Development
  • Information Technology Outreach Services
  • International Center
  • Office of Communications
  • Office of Administration

Areas of Service

The Vinson Institute provides a diverse array of services to public sector organizations. The following provides a general description of these services but is not comprehensive.


The Vinson Institute conducts a variety of assistance programs to help governments and agencies improve their operations and plan for the future. Many of these programs are geared toward promoting efficient and effective service delivery. Faculty at the institute also perform program evaluation for departments and agencies within Georgia’s state and local governments.

There is a human resource management group that conducts classification and compensation studies, executive searches, promotional testing for public safety organizations, and other HR-related functions. The local government studies group performs annexation and consolidation studies, service delivery studies, departmental reviews, tax equity studies, and other projects about the issues facing cities and counties.

The Office of Information Technology Outreach Services (ITOS) assists government entities with the use of geographic information system
Geographic Information System
A geographic information system, geographical information science, or geospatial information studies is a system designed to capture, store, manipulate, analyze, manage, and present all types of geographically referenced data...

 (GIS) technology through application development, digital mapping, database creation, and more.

Training and Development

The Vinson Institute provides training and professional development to thousands of public officials and employees in Georgia annually. The training takes a variety of forms in order to develop participants’ leadership, talents, knowledge, and skills.

Local government training programs are designed for county commissioners, city council members, mayors, city and county managers and planners, municipal and county clerks, financial managers, and others involved in local government. The institute also conducts specific training for newly elected officials in city and county governments.

At the Georgia state level, the Vinson Institute has coordinated the Biennial Institute for Georgia Legislators since 1958. Every two years following General Assembly elections, the members of the Georgia House of Representatives and Senate meet and attend information sessions pertaining to significant, timely issues. These sessions are conducted by Vinson Institute faculty, veteran lawmakers and staff, agency administrators, and subject experts.

The Vinson Institute also coordinates the Georgia Legislative Leadership Institute (GLLI), an extension of the Biennial Institute. Developed and authorized by the Georgia General Assembly Training Institute, GLLI forms the core of a leadership development program for newer members of the state legislature. The institute also operates the Georgia Leadership Institute (GLI), which provides leadership development for managers and executives in Georgia’s state agencies.

Applied Research

Research faculty at the Vinson Institute provide objective, timely information to policymakers and decision makers to aid them in their work. They design and conduct customized studies to collect data, gauge opinion through surveys, evaluate programs, and more. Areas of study include, but are not limited to, demography, the environment, public opinion, economic impact, and legislative policy.

International Center

The Vinson Institute’s International Center works to help nations in transition strengthen governance and administrative capability. Through instructional programs, technical assistance, and research, faculty and staff work to develop more efficient, transparent, and responsive governments.

Student Involvement

The Vinson Institute engages undergraduate and graduate students from the University of Georgia in its work through a variety of programs. The Vinson Institute Fellows Program is an undergraduate internship through which students are paired with faculty-mentors and gain real world experience in state and local government. The Vinson Institute also coordinates the Georgia Legislative Intern Program (GLIP), a statewide program that involves undergraduates in the work of the Georgia General Assembly. The institute cosponsors UGA’s Master of Public Administration
Master of Public Administration
The Master of Public Administration is a professional post-graduate degree in Public Administration. The MPA program prepares individuals to serve as managers in the executive arm of local, state/provincial, and federal/national government, and increasingly in nongovernmental organization and...

 (MPA) program with the University of Georgia School of Public and International Affairs
University of Georgia School of Public and International Affairs
The School of Public and International Affairs, also referred to as SPIA, is a political science, international affairs and public policy school within The University of Georgia in Athens, Georgia, United States.-History:...

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