Emerging Leaders Program Class of 2021 Application

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Deadline: March 2, 2020, 12:00 pm CT

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 training 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. 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 Program 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 2021, the participation fee will be $15,000 for corporate/private sector participants and $5,000 for participants from the non-profit, academic, and public sectors.
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 Class of 2021 Orientation and Welcome Reception: Evening of July 15, 2020
  • EL Class of 2021 Retreat: September 11-12, 2020
  • Washington, DC Study Mission Briefing: Evening of September 28, 2020
  • Washington, DC Study Mission: October 4-6, 2020
  • EL Holiday Social: Evening of December 4, 2020
  • Every third Wednesday of the month, 5-8 pm, beginning October 21: (2020: 10/21, 11/18; 2021: 1/20, 2/17, 3/17, 4/21, 5/19, 6/16)
  • Every first Friday of the month, 2-5 pm, beginning November 6: (2020: 11/6, 12/4; 2021: 1/8, 2/5, 3/5, 4/2, 5/7, 6/4)

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

For more information on the Emerging Leaders Selection Criteria, Selection Process, and more, please visit our website.


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