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Emerging Leaders Tackle Today's Global Challenges

The Council's Emerging Leaders class of 2018 draws from professional and personal experiences to share short, dynamic presentations on an array of today’s critical issues and trends.
Amrith Aakre
Lauren Bean Buitta
Joel Braunold
Josh Ellis
Adrienne Irmer
Shermin Kruse
Benjamin Levy
Lisa Reijula
Event Date

About This Event

How should the next generation of leaders approach the interconnected challenges of the 21st century? Debates over global challenges—from dousing the fires of populism and securing US elections, to tackling water scarcity and assisting in conflict zones—are dominating news cycles and impacting our lives. In a unique programming offering, the Chicago Council on Global Affairs’ Emerging Leaders class of 2018 will draw from professional and personal experiences and share a series of short, dynamic presentations on an array of today’s critical issues and trends.

From Election Hacking to Water Scarcity

Each year, the Council selects a highly competitive cohort of Chicago’s up-and-coming professionals to participate in its Emerging Leaders Program. Emerging Leaders become part of a network of globally fluent individuals who will continue to raise the bar for Chicago as an influential international city. Hear several members of class 2018 present their policy prescriptions on:

  • Cultural Competency Training for Law Enforcement
  • Securing US Elections
  • Leveraging US Funds in Conflict Zones
  • Managing Water Conflict
  • Compulsory Voting in the US
  • Immigration Restrictions Hurt Healthcare in the US
  • Bridging Divisions in the US through Mandatory Service
  • Increasing Exports from Chicago to the World
About the Speakers
National Legal Director, Sikh Coalition
Amrith Aakre headshot
Amrith Kaur Aakre joined the Sikh Coalition, a civil rights organization, in August 2017 as legal director. In this role, she coordinates legal work and manages initiatives to protect the civil rights of all Americans in areas such as hate crimes, bullying, racial profiling, workplace discrimination, and religious rights.
Amrith Aakre headshot
Founder and CEO, Girl Security
Headshot of Lauren Bean Buitta
Lauren Bean Buitta is founder and CEO of Girl Security, a nonpartisan, non-profit organization closing the gender gap in national security through learning, training, and mentoring support.
Headshot of Lauren Bean Buitta
Executive Director, Alliance for Middle East Peace
Headshot for Joel Braunold
Joel Braunold is the executive director of the Alliance for Middle East Peace. He works regularly with the US State Department, USAID, the National Security Council, and Congress on the needs of the peacebuilding community. Outside the US, he has worked with national governments and multilateral institutions across Europe and the Middle East.
Headshot for Joel Braunold
Vice President, Metropolitan Planning Council
Headshot for Josh Ellis
At the MPC, Josh Ellis directs urban and regional planning initiatives, addressing a range of urban and regional challenges, and leads multiple strategies to balance community aspirations, ecosystem needs, economic growth, and sound public policy. An alumnus of MPC's research assistant program, Ellis continues to manage fellowship opportunities.
Headshot for Josh Ellis
Former Legislative Coordinator, Cook County Government
Headshot of Adrienne Irmer
Adrienne Irmer currently serves on the legislative staff of Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, and with the Cook County Bureau of Asset Management. She's a 2017 political partner with the Truman National Security Project, 2017 fellow of the Chicago Urban League IMPACT Leadership Development Program, and sits on the executive leadership board for New Leaders Council, Chicago.
Headshot of Adrienne Irmer
Partner, Barack Ferrazzano Law Firm
Headshot of Shermin Kruse
Shermin Kruse is also a TEDx speaker; an accomplished negotiator, facilitator, and mediator; the author of the critically acclaimed, best-selling novel Butterfly Stitching; a contributor to the Huffington Post; a director of the ACLU of Illinois; cofounder and director of Pasfarda Arts and Culture Exchange; a director of Heshima Kenya; and a mother of four.
Headshot of Shermin Kruse
Gastroenterologist, Mount Sinai Hospital
Headshot for Benjamin Levy
At Mount Sinai Hospital Benjamin Levy serves as the head of gastroenterology education for residents and medical students from several international medical schools. He founded a gastroenterology clinic for refugees resettling in Chicago, and also serves on the American College of Gastroenterology's Patient Care Committee where he is organizing a colon cancer screening campaign.
Headshot for Benjamin Levy
Director of Global Programs, Chicago Regional Growth
Headshot for Lisa Reijula
Lisa Reijula is the program manager at Metro Chicago Exports where she works to increase the area’s economic competitiveness through international trade. Reijula designs and implements strategic programs to help businesses overcome barriers to export, such as grants to offset financial risk, an intensive strategic plan development cohort, and pitch competitions for small businesses.
Headshot for Lisa Reijula