Frequently Asked Questions

Applicant Account
Why can't I create an applicant account?

If you have applied for the Emerging Leaders Program in the past, your applicant account may already exist. If you have forgotten your password, you can request it to be reset. Please contact site support for additional assistance.

Why do I need to create an applicant account?

You will need to create an applicant account to apply for the Emerging Leaders Program. Please do so by using the "register" button in the top right corner. After that, you may begin your application by using the 'Apply' button on this page. 

You will be sent an email verification link. This email could be misdirected to your spam folder or another folder in your inbox.

Selection Criteria
Can I apply if I am not in the 35-45 year old age range?

Candidates must be at least 35 and no older than 45 on December 30, 2023.

Do I have to be a member of the Chicago Council on Global Affairs to apply to the Emerging Leaders Program?

You do not have to be a member of the Council to apply.

Do I have to live within the City of Chicago to be eligible?

You are not required to live within city limits, but you must be able to attend two Emerging Leaders sessions in-person each month.

When is the application due?

The complete candidate application (including candidate information form, essays, resume, and two letters of recommendation) is due by 12:00 pm Central Time on Friday, September 15, 2023. You will only be able to submit your application once your reference letters are submitted. 

I have confirmed who will write my letters of reference. What should these letters include?

Your referrers should be able to speak to how you fit the ideal Emerging Leaders candidate criteria noted on the Emerging Leaders Program website. These letters must be received by the application deadline of September 15, 2023 at 12 noon.  

How are letters of reference submitted?

You must complete the candidate information form and upload your resume before requesting your letters of reference, as your letter writers will be able to view these completed portions of your application.

In order to request your letters of reference, you must first verify your email address with the SurveyMonkey Apply platform. Please note that this message could be delayed by your email provider or directed into a spam or other folder.

Your referrers will independently submit their materials. You will be able to track your reference letter status in your applicant portal. 

After your reference letters have been submitted, you must confirm receipt of the letter and press Submit.

You will NOT be able to submit your application without your letters of recommendation being submitted.

May I ask more than two referrers to submit a letter of reference?

You may only submit the two letters of reference that are required. Please only send reference letter requests to individuals that you have confirmed will write a letter in support of your application by the September 15, 2023 12 noon deadline. 

Can someone write a letter of reference for more than one candidate?


Selection Process

What is the selection process and timeline for the Emerging Leaders class of 2024?

  • Through September 15, 2023: Candidates submit applications (including candidate information form, resume, two short essays, and two letters of reference).
  • Mid to late September 2023: Application evaluation by a selection committee composed of Council leadership members, Emerging Leader alumni, and Emerging Leaders program staff
  • Early October 2023: Candidates selected for interviews will be notified
    • These candidates will also be asked to confirm the participation fee, employer sponsorship, and candidate commitments
  • October 13 and 16-18, 2023: Interviews with subgroups of the selection committee
    • Interviews will last 20 to 30 minutes and take place in person at the Council offices.
  • Early November 2023: Candidates will be notified and publicly announced

Who is on the selection committee?

The selection committee is comprised of Council board members, EL alumni, community leaders, and senior staff.

Participation Fee 

How much does it cost to be part of the program?

For the Class of 2024, the participation fee is:

  • $20,000 for corporate sector participants
  • $12,000 for entrepreneurs and those who work for small businesses with annual operating budgets of $5 million or less
  • $6,000 for academic, nonprofit, and public sector participants

Additionally, each Emerging Leader must make an individual $500 contribution. 

Emerging Leaders are expected to cover the cost of their flight and some meals for a trip to Washington, DC.

Can a third party (i.e., not my employer and not myself) pay for my participation fee?

Yes. Once you have been selected to the program you can work with the Emerging Leaders Program staff to arrange for the payment of your participation fee. Please note that places in the Emerging Leaders class are non-transferable.

Is a scholarship support available for the participation fee?

A very limited number of scholarships are available thanks to generous donors to the Emerging Leaders Program. These scholarships support candidates who do not work in the private sector and who would not be able to participate in the program due to financial need. Please direct any inquiries to the program director, Ariel Schwartz (aschwartz@globalaffairs.org).