Join our network of rising civic leaders and build connections across the government and nonprofit sectors.

Founded in 2014 at the University of Chicago, the Civic Leadership Academy is a 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. Since the program’s inception, over 200 fellows from all 77 neighborhoods of the city have participated.

The Civic Leadership Academy meets on Fridays, every other week for six months from January to June. Additionally, the program includes a one-week global practicum and a civic practitioner leadership series.

Provides Essential Leadership Knowledge and Skills

Taught by world class faculty from the University of Chicago’s professional schools, fellows engage in a six-month interdisciplinary curriculum that exposes them to essential leadership frameworks and applications.

Builds Network of Civic Leaders

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.

Delivers Distinctive and Chicago-based Programming

In addition to courses taught by world-class UChicago faculty and civic practitioners, the CLA curriculum includes original Chicago-based case studies to uncover core lessons about civic leadership in an applied setting.

Develops Perspective Through Local and Global Experimentation and Observation

Fellows hone leadership skills by traveling abroad to learn how leaders in a different context overcome obstacles.

William Howell

Sydney Stein Professor in American Politics

William Howell

William Howell has written widely on separation-of-powers issues and American political institutions, especially the presidency. He currently is working on research projects on Obama's education initiatives, distributive politics, and the normative foundations of executive power.
Join Chicago's rising civic leaders today.
CLA is currently accepting applications for a January 2022 program start. The application deadline is October 1, 2021. To apply, you must be a full-time employee of a non-profit organization, the City of Chicago, or Cook County.