The Civic Leadership Academy is a highly-competitive leadership development program for emerging and high-potential leaders in non-profit organizations and local government agencies within the City of Chicago and Cook County. Civic Leadership Academy fellows engage in a six-month interdisciplinary leadership development curriculum that includes classes taught by world-renowned University of Chicago faculty, original Chicago-based case studies to uncover core lessons about civic leadership in an applied setting, conversations with civic leaders throughout Chicago, as well as a week-long global practicum in cities including Delhi, Cape Town and London.

Upon completion, CLA fellows are awarded a Certificate in Civic Leadership from the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy. Furthermore, each fellow’s organization receives a $2,000 stipend to take an additional course at the University of Chicago.

Eligibility: Five years work experience, full time employee of Chicago or non-profit.

Competency Alignment

Influences others to positive action: Through course work and in person sessions fellows improve their ability to increase the commitment of key stakeholders, communicate effectively through storytelling and handle a crisis by developing communication strategies.

Strategizes and drives for results to maximize impact Fellows learn how to identify the optimal objectives of leadership. The curriculum will focus on the creation of short versus long term goals, complex versus simple goals and how to adjust and reevaluate goals when required .

Fosters trusting relationships to enable productive change: Specifically designed to strengthen connections between Chicago nonprofit and government leaders, the Civic Leadership Academy provides opportunities for its fellows to create links for future impact. Alumni programming allows fellows across cohorts to continuously expand their networks and continue learning.

Adapts and shows resilience to create solutions: Through instruction fellows examine the impact of human suffering, the concept of victimhood, and their relevance to civic leadership.