This unique, globally focused program provides exclusive opportunities for a select group of Chicago’s best and brightest to engage directly with some of the world’s leading influencers and thinkers while expanding their global acumen and key professional skills. Emerging Leaders will bring advanced global thinking, insights, and connections back to their organizations, and become part of the fabric that makes Chicago a leading global city.

The Emerging Leaders Program will select high potential leaders from across Chicago’s business, cultural, civic, and academic sectors and provide a robust expansive platform to deepen their fluency and exposure to global affairs and policy. In our increasingly interconnected and complex global landscape, Emerging Leaders will engage in a thought-provoking year of dialogue, global skills trainings and insights, exposure to global leaders and policymaking through targeted site visits and special events, and opportunities to become part of Chicago’s global network. With the overarching objective of helping position these future global leaders to play critical roles in connecting Chicago to the world and the world to Chicago, the Emerging Leaders program will:

  1. Strengthen participants’ capacity to be a catalyst in integrating their organizations into the networks that make Chicago a truly global city
  2. Deepen their engagement and support of the global insights, influences, and leadership of the Chicago Council on Global Affairs – nearing its 100th year as Chicago’s go-to place for driving and shaping the City’s global discourse
  3. Build the global acumen, ability, and leadership capacity of some of Chicago’s best and brightest across its diverse sectors, companies, and institutions
  4. Create a diverse, networked community of Emerging Leaders – anchored by the Council – who will continue to raise the bar, foster the dialogue, and influence the standing of Chicago as a leading global city
  5. Coalesce diverse perspectives to increase the leadership capacity of Chicago’s best and brightest 

About the Program

Through the Emerging Leaders Program, the Chicago Council on Global Affairs selects a class of approximately 20 participants for an intense year of meetings, discussions, skill-building sessions, and cross-class interactions. This unique, globally focused program provides exclusive opportunities for a select group of Chicago’s best and brightest to engage directly with some of the world’s leading influencers and thinkers while expanding their global acumen and key professional skills.  Emerging Leaders will bring advanced global thinking, insights, and connections back to their organizations, and become part of the fabric that makes Chicago a leading global city. 

The framework for the year will be built around two mandatory meetings each month. During these sessions, Emerging Leaders will be directly briefed by Council experts and thought leaders on a wide range of some of the most pressing global issues – from the complexities of shaping foreign policy and the intricacies of navigating the global economy to issues of inequality within and between nations and the multidimensional toll of global warming, among other subjects. These critical and highly informative sessions will be held every first Friday afternoon (2 to 5 p.m.) and third Wednesday evening (5 to 8 p.m.) of the month. 

Additionally, the Emerging Leaders will come to understand the issues driving US engagement abroad and the leadership principles driving this engagement through a series of key meetings in Washington, DC, during a trip led by Ambassador Ivo Daalder, president of the Chicago Council on Global Affairs. The experiences and learnings of the Emerging Leaders Class will build towards a final policy project brief.

The Chicago Council on Global Affairs has made substantial investment over the years in helping to develop Chicago’s next generation of global leaders. The Emerging Leaders Program, now in its 10th year, has been a core part of this investment. The Program now offers an opportunity for organizations across Chicago to support the Council in developing the global acumen, ability, and network of its high potential leaders. For the Class of 2019, the participation fee will be $15,000 for corporate/private sector participants and $5,000 for non-profit/public sector participants.

Support of the Emerging Leaders Program allows the Council to intentionally seek outstanding leaders who reflect the rich diversity of Chicago. A reduced participation fee may be available to those individuals who demonstrate a clear financial need and inability to cost share in this way. 


Mandatory Meeting Dates

  • EL Welcome Reception: Evening of July 18, 2018
  • EL Class of 2019 Retreat: September 14-15, 2018
  • Washington, DC Trip Briefing: Evening of September 17, 2018
  • Washington, DC Trip: October 1-2, 2018
  • EL Holiday Party: December 7, 2018
  • Every third Wednesday of the month, 5-8 p.m., beginning October 17 (2018: 10/17, 11/21; 2019: 1/16, 2/20, 3/20, 4/17, 5/15, 6/19)
  • Every first Friday of the month, 2-5 p.m., beginning November 2 (2018: 11/2; 2019: 1/4, 2/1, 3/1/, 4/5, 5/3, 6/7)
     

In addition to the required semi-monthly meetings, each Emerging Leaders will be expected to attend a minimum of one public program hosted by the Council each month.


Post-Program Expectations

Emerging Leaders are expected to stay engaged with the Council and maintain active membership after the completion of their program year.

Upon graduation, Emerging Leaders become part of the Emerging Leaders Alumni Network and will be expected to participate in Emerging Leaders activities, as able. 

Selection Criteria

Emerging leaders will be chosen from corporate, non-profit and government sectors to create a class of about 20 participants. Ideal Emerging Leader candidates are highly accomplished in their careers and expected to rise to the top of their fields in the next five to ten years. Between the ages of 30 to 40, they have a strong professional or personal interest in international affairs, a commitment to community engagement, and a thirst for knowledge. The Council will intentionally seek exceptional leaders who reflect the rich diversity of Chicago.

Ideal Emerging Leader Candidates are:
 
Between 30-40 years old –  Candidates must be 40 or under as of June 30, 2018.

Interested in global affairs – Candidates should have a strong demonstrated professional or personal interest in global issues, trends, and events.

Passionate and driven – Candidates are highly accomplished in their careers and expected to rise to the top of their fields in the next 10 years.

Engaged in the community – Candidates are active in their communities and committed to working on solutions that will positively impact Chicago’s role as a global city. 

Able to participate in key meeting dates and sessions – Emerging Leaders meet on the first Friday (2 to 5 p.m.) and third Wednesday (5 to 8 p.m.) of each month, in addition to other mandatory dates listed above. Emerging Leaders must also participate in a Council program of their choice each month. Awareness of the time commitment by the candidate’s supervisor is mandatory for the program.

Prepared to deliver – Candidates are expected to complete an end-of-year project that explores a key issue within the Emerging Leaders curriculum. Candidates can select to complete an op-ed or podcast, and will receive support from Council staff and experts on design, execution, and placement.  Completion of a project is required of every participant and will require additional time devoted to it.

Invested in the Emerging Leaders Program – There is an Emerging Leaders participation fee of $15,000 corporate/private sector participants and a non-profit and public sector rate of $5,000. A reduced participation fee may be available to those individuals who demonstrate a clear financial need and inability to cost share in this way. Emerging Leaders continue their engagement with the Council and maintain active membership after the completion of their program year.

Unique in their experiences and perspectives – The Emerging Leaders program aims to select a cohort who are diverse not only in their personal and professional backgrounds, but also with the ideological and intellectual perspectives they bring to the program. 

Selection Process

Initial Application
Week of February 19 - March 26 at 12 noon

  • All candidates must complete and submit the candidate information form, two letters of reference, and three essays to be considered. 
  • Reference letters are open and should be completed by those who can speak to the candidate’s qualifications for the program.
  • Applications will be scored by the Emerging Leaders selection committee composed of Council leadership members, Emerging Leader alumni, and Emerging Leaders Program staff.
     


 

Interview
April 30 - May 8

  • Candidates selected from the initial round of applications will receive an invitation to interview with the EL selection committee.
  • Each candidate will be interviewed for 20 to 30 minutes at the Council on Global Affairs by a sub-group of the Emerging Leaders selection committee.
  • Candidates will be notified on the status of their application the week of April 23. 
     


 

Selection
Week of May 21

  • If selected, each participant is required to submit:
    •  written confirmation of support acknowledging the time commitment by immediate supervisor
    • a statement agreeing to meet the expectations of the Emerging Leaders Program, including: full participation at meetings, programs and events; outreach to their network on behalf of the Council, and ongoing engagement after the program year. 
  • All candidates will be notified on the status of their application the week of June 4.
     

Program Testimonials

One issue I had not considered much before the Emerging Leaders Program is…
 

…the incredible depth of programming and research that the Chicago Council brings to the community and to the broader debate on the issues of significant importance to the United States and the world.

John DeBlasio – Member of the Council's Board of Directors and Emerging Leader Class of 2013; Founder and Executive Director, GPD Charitable Trust

...Chicago’s role as a leading global city. While there are areas where Chicago excels, there are others where the city lags. Being exposed to the successes and failures of other comparable cities addressing many of the same challenges was illuminating.

Michael Y. Scudder – Member of the Council's Board of Directors and Emerging Leader, Class of 2012; Partner, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP;

The Emerging Leaders Program changed the way I analyze information about global affairs by…
 

…creating a sustained conversation between leaders in multiple sectors. Day long workshops involving business, government, non-profit, and academic leaders are short – and rare enough – but long-term collaborations with experts from multiple sectors can lead to rethinking their roles in global affairs. It did it for me.

Noah Toly – Emerging Leader, Class of 2013; Director of the Center for Urban Engagement (CUE) and Professor of Urban Studies and Politics & International Relations, Wheaton College

…giving me access to the content experts that were brought in to discuss the issue with our class, and observing the way in which we all made sense of the issue differently based on our various sector perspectives.

Abigayil Joseph – Emerging Leader Class of 2016; Chief of Staff, Board of Education, Chicago Public Schools

The most important thing I learned from the Emerging Leaders Program was…
 

…how global business leaders think. The program provides an unusual community that allows us to learn about different styles of interpreting global affairs in a non-competitive environment. Creating a project together means that each of us is looking for a seemingly intractable problem that the group could solve, and our professional experiences come together to create – with the fits and starts of a volunteer endeavor – a joint product.

Joyce Coffee – Emerging Leader, Class of 2012; President, Climate Resilience Consulting and Senior Sustainability Fellow, Global Institute of Sustainability, Arizona State University

…that despite Chicago’s image as a parochial Midwestern town, there is, in fact, a wide and diverse range of dynamic leaders from across the city’s public and private sectors who are deeply interested in global work. This work may differ depending on our professional and/or personal area of focus; nonetheless, Chicago has a vibrant and highly engaged community that cares deeply about the city’s place on the global stage.

Sonya Anderson – Emerging Leader, Class of 2012; Independent Consultant, Anderson Consulting

The thing that most surprised me about the Emerging Leaders Program was…
 

…the number of times I changed my mind or arrived at a much more nuanced view of an important global issue after exploring it with my classmates and the experts that the Council brought to the table to guide us through some of the world’s most complex topics.

Sean Shelby – Emerging Leader, Class of 2016 ;Vice President, Isobar

…how many opportunities were made available for those of us who wanted to take advantage of them. Besides the formal programming, the ability to communicate with officers and fellows at the Council, the special invitations to dinners after programs or receptions before programs, and the opening of doors by the Council made the program one of a kind.

Endy Zemenides – Emerging Leader, Class of 2015; Executive Director, Hellenic American Leadership Council

Events

These events are designed specifically for current Emerging Leaders and program alumni. 

Welcome Reception – July 18, 2018

Holiday Party – December 6, 2018

Salon – February or March (TBD) 2019

Public Program featuring current class of Emerging Leaders and alumni – May 15, 2019