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. Now in its fourth year, CLA counts more than 100 fellows as program alumni among its growing network.

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.

At a time when people need to think creatively about social change, the Civic Leadership Academy distills the very best of the University and City of Chicago. While analytical in focus, CLA fosters open and honest communication across the government and non-profit sectors. In the crowded space of leadership training initiatives, there simply is nothing like CLA.

William Howell, Faculty Director, CLA; Chair, Department of Political Science; Sydney Stein Professor of American Politics, Harris Public Policy

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.

CLA - More info

Join Chicago's rising civic leaders today.
The CLA is currently accepting applications for a January 2019 program start. The application deadline is October 10, 2018. To apply, you must be a full-time employee of a non-profit organization, the City of Chicago, or Cook County.