Behind the Scenes: Emerging Leaders

Behind the Scenes:
Emerging Leaders
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What is an Emerging Leader?

Each year, the Council selects a highly competitive cohort of Chicago’s up-and-coming professionals to participate in its Emerging Leaders Program. But what does it mean to be an Emerging Leader? Get a behind-the-scenes look in this interactive snapshot.

“The world is only getting smaller and more connected. Today’s leaders need a global perspective to succeed. The Emerging Leaders Program selects the best and brightest in the city and empowers them to shape our shared global future.”

Ambassador Ivo H. Daalder
President, Chicago Council on Global Affairs


Established in 2008, the Emerging Leaders Program brings together a highly selective, diverse group of rising leaders from the private, public, and nonprofit sectors to help them – and Chicago – thrive in the global era.

Emerging Leaders are 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.

Emerging Leaders develop their understanding of global leadership and policy through an intense year of discussions, site visits, and skill-building sessions.

With unlimited access to Council programming, Emerging Leaders can hear directly from world influencers and top thinkers on issues such as the global economy, international diplomacy, energy, and the environment.

Emerging Leaders also enjoy endless opportunities to engage with Council fellows and experts at monthly briefings and exclusive programs just for them.

Emerging Leaders become part of a network of globally fluent leaders who will continue to raise the bar for Chicago as a leading global city.

Emerging Leader alumni include Khadine Bennett, Associate Legislative Director, ACLU of Illinois; Jeanne Gang (pictured), renowned architect and founder and principal of Studio Gang; Joshua Hale, president and CEO, Big Shoulders Fund; and Raja Krishnamoorthi, US House of Representatives, IL 8th District. See all alumni.

Interested in becoming an Emerging Leader or know someone that would make a good candidate? The Council is now accepting applications for its Emerging Leaders Program class of 2019. The deadline to apply is Monday, March 12, 2018. Learn more or apply now.

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