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Emerging Leaders Speaking on the Council Stage

Emerging Leaders Program

Each year through a competitive application process, the Council selects high-performing, midcareer professionals from Chicago to participate in its Emerging Leaders Program. Participants gain a deeper understanding of global issues and skills to support Chicago and its communities in addressing global challenges and bolstering Chicago’s position as a global city. 

Apply now to join the Emerging Leaders Class of 2022

The application process is open November 2, 2020 to March 8, 2021.

As an Emerging Leader you will engage in leadership development and skills training in public speaking, op-ed writing, and policy analysis. You’ll meet with global leaders, deepen your understanding of how global issues affect local communities, and explore policymaking through special events and meetings with leaders in Chicago and Washington, DC. The valuable personal and professional connections you will gain by becoming part of Chicago’s global network will benefit your organization and your career advancement.

"The Council was the one place I could come and have intellectually honest and rigorous discussions with people of differing viewpoints."

—Michael Hubband, Emerging Leader Class of 2019; Portfolio Manager, Thrivent Mutual Funds
Two Emerging Leaders sharing the mic at an event.
Ideal Candidates The Council seeks exceptional leaders who reflect Chicago's diversity, are accomplished in their careers, are expected to rise to the top of their fields, and have strong professional or personal interests in global affairs and community engagement.
Meet the Current Class For one year, 22 of Chicago's best and brightest from some of the city’s most prominent organizations are engaging in a rigorous program to further their knowledge of US foreign policy and global affairs and strengthen their leadership skills.

Featured Event

Emerging Leaders Class of 2020 laugh together during a meeting
Feb
11
Join the Council to learn more about our Emerging Leaders Program, including the selection criteria, application, and selection process for the EL class of 2022. Register Today
Alumni Spotlight
Jeanne Gang
Founding Principal and Partner, Studio Gang Architects
Headshot of Jeanne Gang
Jeanne Gang, a 2011 MacArthur Fellow and member of the 2011 class of the Council's Emerging Leaders Program, is the principal architect of Studio Gang Architects, a Chicago-based firm that has been recognized internationally for its innovation in design. She also serves as an adjunct professor at the Illinois Institute of Technology and has been a visiting professor at Harvard, Yale, and Princeton. She received an Academy Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 2006 and is a 2009 Fellow of the American Institute of Architects.
Headshot of Jeanne Gang
Raja Krishnamoorthi
Member of Congress
Headshot of Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi
Raja Krishnamoorthi, part of the Emerging Leaders class of 2010, ran for Illinois State Comptroller, losing by 1% in the 2010 Democratic Primary. Prior to that, he was deputy treasurer for Illinois, making him the highest-ranking South Asian to have served in Illinois government. Previously, he was a partner at Kirkland & Ellis, a special assistant attorney general in the Illinois Attorney General's office, and a member of the board of the Illinois Housing Development Authority.
Headshot of Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi
Evelyn J. Diaz
President, Heartland Alliance
As President of Heartland Alliance, Evelyn Diaz—a member of the Council's Emerging Leader Program class of 2011—is responsible for directing domestic and global strategy for Heartland Alliance's five nonprofit corporate entities. Previously, she was appointed by Mayor Rahm Emanuel to lead the City of Chicago’s Department of Family and Support Services where she was responsible for administering an annual budget of $330 million to deliver social service programs to over 300,000 Chicagoans in the areas of children, youth, homelessness, domestic violence, aging, workforce development, and human services.

"The impact of a program like this one is profoundly influential."

Emerging Leader alumni Jamia Jowers
Jamia Jowers Emerging Leader Class of 2020; Director, Obama Foundation Scholars Program, University of Chicago