Chicago is one of the world's top cities because its thoughtful leaders understood how to transform it from an industrial powerhouse to an agile modern city deeply integrated in the global economy. A new generation is now rising to leadership in the city, and individuals selected to participate in The Chicago Council’s Emerging Leaders Program are drawn from the best and the brightest in the Chicagoland area.
The Emerging Leaders Class of 2015 will spend the first year of the two-year program examining key global issues that affect the world and Chicago’s global future. They will hear from experts on issues such as the global economy, foreign policy, energy and the environment. In the second year, they will work with Chicago Council staff to define, develop and produce a report on a pressing global challenge. Representatives of the group will present their recommendations at a public program at the end of the second year.
In addition to the most recent Emerging Leaders report, which offers an action plan for addressing urban food security, previous reports cover topics including the establishment of a venture philanthropy fund to increase the global competitiveness of Chicago’s students, immigration and Chicago’s experience and the privatization of infrastructure.
Each year, an independent selection committee identifies a new class of leaders from a competitive pool of nominated candidates to participate in the Emerging Leaders Program. Co-chaired by Chicago Council Vice Chairs John F. Manley and Shirley Welsh Ryan, the program was established in 2008. Support for the program is generously provided by Manley, the Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Foundation and the Robert R. McCormick Foundation.