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They heard from experts on issues such as the global economy, international diplomacy, energy, and the environment. In addition to meeting regularly as a class, they worked on individual projects with Council experts to examine key global challenges.

This cohort of leaders from around Chicago was chosen by an independent selection committee from a highly competitive pool of applicants.

Learn more about the Emerging Leaders Program.

Class of 2014

Kamran Bajwa

Corporate Partner
Kirkland & Ellis

Kamran Bajwa specializes in handling highly complex international legal matters with a focus on the Middle East and emerging markets. In addition to his professional work, he's served as an advisor to major international NGOs in the United States, Europe, and the Middle East relating to inter-cultural dialogue. From 2003 to 2010, Bajwa and his family lived in Dubai, Cairo, and Bahrain, and his work experience includes time spent in over twenty countries across Africa, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. Bajwa is a graduate of the University of Michigan Law School (1999), has studied classical Islamic theology, and is fluent in Arabic and Punjabi.

Aileen Furlong Caffrey

Managing Director of Mileage Plus
United Airlines

Aileen Furlong Caffrey leads premier programs and global air partnerships for Mileage Plus. Under her leadership in 2011, Mileage Plus was named Best Elite-Level Program in the Americas for the second straight year at the Frequent Traveler Awards, as well as Best Frequent Flyer Program by Global Traveler magazine. She also was instrumental in leading the integration of Mileage Plus and Continental's OnePass programs to create the world's leading loyalty program. Since joining United in 2000, Furlong Caffrey has launched new routes, products, partnerships, and promotions, and has held a variety of senior management positions in Loyalty and Marketing. She earned her B.A. from Georgetown University and her M.B.A from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management.

Lincoln S. Ellis

Managing Partner and Senior Strategist
Green Square Capital, LLC

Lincoln S. Ellis leads Green Square's strategy and business development practices and heads the firm's Chicago branch, Green Square's first office outside of Memphis. Ellis created Columbia University's Columbia International Affairs Online (, one of the first and most comprehensive databases for theory and research in economics and international affairs on the web. Prior to joining the Green Square in 2013, Ellis held positions at Morgan Stanley's Private Wealth Management covering ultra-high net worth families and family offices. He also started two hedge fund businesses and Astor Janssen Holdings, a consulting company. He is recognized for a unique outlook that combines the rational science of economics and the irrational art of market investing. He has appeared on CNBC, Bloomberg TV, Fox Business, CNN, SKY News, BBC, NPR's Market Place Morning Report and is a frequent contributor to the CME's daily market commentary operation. He is one of the original contributors to Nouriel Roubini's Economonitor, where he occasionally blogs.

Anthony P. Garcia

Senior Counsel, Litigation and Investigation
The Boeing Company

Prior to joining Boeing in 2013, Anthony P. Garcia was with the U.S. Department of Justice. His last assignment was to the gangs and narcotics section in the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Illinois. He served as the U.S. Department of Justice attaché assigned to the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City, Mexico, from 2009 to 2011. Garcia has also worked in the Department of Justice's Office of International Affairs, where he worked on international issues with various countries in Latin America, and the Counterespionage Section, where he investigated and prosecuted violations of the espionage statutes, atomic energy act, and export control statutes. Ellis worked as an assistant state's attorney in the Cook County State’s Attorney's Office from 1998 to 2003. He received a B.A. from the University of Wyoming and his J.D. from the University of Wyoming College of Law.

Jamie N. Jones

Director of Social Entrepreneurship, and Clinical Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurial Practice
Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University

Jamie Jones works with students, alumni, and members of the community to apply business principles for positive societal and/or environmental impact. Since starting at Kellogg, Jones has launched the Morgan Stanley Sustainable Investing Challenge, co-hosted the Impact Investing Summit, and facilitated the creation of the NUvention Impact course. She's also the co-founder of Impact Engine, a Chicago-based impact venture accelerator designed to support start-up entrepreneurs who have an integrated approach to financial returns and societal impact. Jones earned an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. Prior to Kellogg, she was a product development chemist in the private sector and worked in several areas, including medical devices and material science. She earned a PhD in chemistry from the University of Texas at Austin and a BS in chemistry from the University of Tennessee.

Seth Kravitz

Technori and Bow Truss

Seth Kravitz is cofounder of Technori, a publication that celebrates entrepreneurship, and Bow Truss, a premium coffee roasting company. After falling in love with the Chicago entrepreneur community, Kravitz started mentoring at the Coleman Center at DePaul University, the Knapp Center at IIT, Excelerate Labs, and Code Academy. He started a web design firm out of his dorm room at Ohio State University when he was 19 before co-founding in 2004. The company grew to a 65 person operation and reached number 24 on the Inc. 500 before being acquired by Bankrate (NYSE: RATE) in 2012.

Liam Krehbiel

Founder and CEO
A Better Chicago

Liam Krehbiel is the founder and CEO of A Better Chicago, a nonprofit venture philanthropy fund launched in 2010. A Better Chicago provides funding and management support to a portfolio of high-performing nonprofits that are dramatically advancing opportunities for Chicago's low-income population. Prior to founding A Better Chicago, Krehbiel spent ten years working in the corporate and nonprofit sectors. Most recently, he was a management consultant at Bain & Company, where he worked on a variety of strategy and operational projects for Fortune 500 and mid-market clients. Prior to Bain, Krehbiel worked at the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation, where he identified, assessed, funded, and supported a portfolio of high-performing youth development organizations that aspire to scale nationally. Earlier in his career, Krehbiel worked in the investment banking group of William Blair & Company and in the development office of ACCION, a global microfinance organization. Krehbiel serves on the boards of Big Shoulders Fund, the Chicago Public Library Foundation, and the Noble Network of Charter Schools. Liam has a BA in history from Dartmouth College and an MBA in finance and marketing from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.

Nathan Laurell

New Frontier Holdings

Nate Laurell is the founder of New Frontier Holdings, an investment firm focused on sustainable energy and agriculture; a cofounder of, a retail energy supplier; and the founder and CEO of AMP Americas, a company that builds, owns, and operates sustainable infrastructure to create and supply renewable energy. Previously, he was a principal and director at Infinium Capital Management, a proprietary trading firm with offices in Chicago, New York, and London. He started his first company in college and has since been involved with a series of start-ups spanning the software, finance, and energy sectors. In addition, Laurell is currently a partner and member of the Advisory Council of Acumen Fund, a patient-capital fund based in New York. He earned a BS and MS in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and completed the Chicago Management Institute's program at the University of Chicago's Booth School of Business and the Executive Seminar at the Aspen Institute.

Emilia Lopez

Vice President, Strategy

Emilia Lopez is a Vice President in the Strategy Group, based in the McLean office. The group supports Capital One's Lines of Business in critical strategic efforts. Prior to joining Capital One, Lopez was a Principal with The Boston Consulting Group in Chicago. She primarily worked with clients in the banking and payments sectors on growth strategies, innovation, and organizational topics. Prior to joining BCG, Lopez worked at Citibank for 8 years holding several positions mainly related to corporate credit and risk management. She has an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth, and a Bachelors Degree in business from C.E.S.A, Colombia.

Amy Maglio

Founder and Executive Director
Women’s Global Education Project

Amy Maglio is the founder and executive director of Women's Global Education Project (WGEP) and the chief architect of WGEP's model for international development, a community-based approach for girls' education initiatives. In 2010, Maglio presented WGEP's model as a "Best Practice" in girls' education at the UN Girls' Education Initiative Conference in Dakar, Senegal, and drafted the UN Declaration on Gender Equality. Also in 2010, WGEP was selected by Neutrogena to be the face of Girls' Education in the "Wave for Change" Campaign. Maglio was a 2011 Impact Award winner from the Chicago Foundation for Women, and is a regular guest on Chicago Public Radio. She holds an M.A. from the School of International Service at the American University in Washington, D.C., and a B.A. from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. She began her career with the U.S. Agency for International Development and served in the U.S. Peace Corps.

Jeff McCarter

Founder and Executive Director
Free Spirit Media

Jeff McCarter is the Founder & Executive Director of Free Spirit Media, which he created in order to share his experience as a media professional (cameraman, editor, and Emmy Award-winning producer) with youth from under-resourced communities. In mainstream media, Jeff witnessed the lack of diversity in both representation and opportunity. Now, Free Spirit Media cultivates diverse youth voices to transform media and society. McCarter was a founding co-chair of the Chicago Youth Voices Network and serves on Chicago's Committee for Media Access. He is a thought leader in the fields of youth media education and digital media and learning, and has presented at multiple conferences, including DML (Digital Media and Learning) and ACM (Alliance for Community Media). McCarter studied Humanities and Film Production at the University of Colorado and Non-Profit Management at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He has worked on feature films directed by Steven Soderbergh and Ron Howard, and on documentary television with ABC News, PBS, and WTTW Chicago. McCarter is a fellow of Leadership Greater Chicago and the Chicago Council on Global Affairs' Emerging Leaders Program and is a member of the Economic Club of Chicago. He lives with his family on Chicago’s West Side. He also serves on the board of Friends of STEM Magnet Academy and the Douglas Park Advisory Council.

Josh Milberg

Regional Vice President for Midwest Operations
Willdan Energy Solutions

Josh Milberg is responsible for building the energy efficiency and smart grid practice in the Midwest, and also providing strategic counsel to select clients. He has significant experience in strategy, finance, environmental policy, economics, and organizational development. From 2009 to 2011, Milberg served as the 1st deputy commissioner of the Department of Environment for the City of Chicago. He's a recognized leader in the fields of sustainability, smart grid, and electric vehicle deployment strategies, and has spoken at many international conferences including the UN Habitat World Urban Forum in 2011. He was appointed to serve on the Illinois Electric Vehicle Advisory Council by Governor Pat Quinn. Milberg is also a founding board member of the Institute for Sustainable Energy Development, a think tank that supports the deployment of smart grid around the world. He graduated from Claremont McKenna College (cum laude) and received his M.B.A. with concentrations in Strategy and Finance from the Yale School of Management.

Caralynn Nowinski

Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer

As the Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer and a co-founder of UI LABS, Caralynn Nowinski oversees the entire research and commercialization collaborative, including the $320-million Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation Institute. UI LABS brings industries, universities, and government together to apply real solutions to tomorrow's most important business, economic, and cultural challenges. UI LABS actively cultivates and channels talent and resources, fosters unbiased collaboration to bring new ideas to market, and drives economic growth and competitiveness. Prior to UI LABS, Nowinski was Associate Vice President for Innovation & Economic Development at the University of Illinois. She spent her early career in venture capital and corporate finance, primarily focused on technology-based university spin-outs. Nowinski was a Principal with early-stage venture capital firms ARCH Development Partners and Midwest Venture Partners, and Senior Vice President of Sikich Investment Banking. As a graduate student, she co-founded SanoGene Therapeutics, an early-stage biotechnology company, where, as CEO, she led the company’s spin-out from the University of Illinois and raised a strategic equity investment. Nowinski is a Governor-appointed member of the Illinois Innovation Council and currently serves as a member of Mayor Emanuel's ChicagoNEXT Council on Innovation and Technology. Among her honors, she was named to the Crain's Chicago Business 2008 "Forty Under Forty" List and is a member of the Chicago Council on Global Affairs Emerging Leaders Class of 2014. She is a frequent guest speaker on technology entrepreneurship and early-stage investment.

Rebecca Riebe

Global Technology Consultant

Rebecca Riebe is a global technology professional currently consulting with Strategic Systems and Innovation at Hyatt Corporation. Riebe spent the early part of her career in operations with Clark Material Handling, DHL, Procter & Gamble, Fritz Companies/UPS, and Dun & Bradstreet, in the areas of data project management, customs brokerage, import/export regulation and global supply chain, global business development, and strategic market focus. Riebe has managed international import operations for a national trade association, international taxation recovery processes for a global consultant, and global data integration and development projects in agriculture, food and drink, energy and environment, and the financial sectors. She has worked with many of the top Fortune 1000 companies in developing international trade, technological process efficiencies, and market opportunities. Prior to her current role, she was director of global business initiatives at Global Midwest Alliance, and private sector liaison officer to the World Bank. She held the position of vice consul for energy and environment at the British Consulate General in Chicago and was responsible for UK Trade & Investment’s industry sector commercial relationships in energy and environment, and the 2012 London Olympic Games. Riebe holds B.A. and M.A. from the University of St. Andrews in St. Andrews, Scotland, and Masters certifications from the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago, Illinois.

Justin Rose

Partner and Managing Director
The Boston Consulting Group

Justin Rose serves clients primarily in the Industrial Goods and Energy industries. In addition to supporting his clients on a host of strategic and operational issues, he has also co-authored a number of high profile reports, including the recent series of "Made in America, Again" reports focused on the return of manufacturing to the United States. Rose is the leader of BCG's alternative energy team in the Americas region and counts leading the development of the Department of Energy's "United States Strategic Technology Energy Plan"—a roadmap to achieve an 83-percent reduction in carbon emissions for the U.S. economy—as one of his proudest accomplishments. While at BCG, Rose has been based for extended periods in Mexico, Thailand, and Japan. He holds a B.S. degree in Mathematical Methods in the Social Sciences and a B.S. in Economics from Northwestern University, which he was awarded with honors, as well as an MBA from Northwestern's Kellogg School of Management.

Nirav Shah

Sidley Austin, LLP

Dr. Nirav Shah is in the Global Life Sciences practice of the law firm Sidley Austin, LLP, and a lecturer in the Department of Medicine at the University of Chicago, where he teaches courses in global public health and mathematical epidemiology. His law practice focuses on issues of fraud, abuse, and corruption in the health care system. Shah previously served as the chief economist of the Ministry of Health of Cambodia, during his tenure as a Henry Luce Scholar. In Cambodia, he worked on a variety of public health programs aimed at reducing corruption in the health care system. In particular, he designed a system that reduced the number of administrative steps required to transfer funds from the central Ministry to rural hospitals, thereby reducing opportunities for graft. Shah holds an M.D. and a J.D. from The University of Chicago, where he won the Hinton Moot Court Championship. After graduating from college, he studied economics at Oxford University.

Jacob Sitati

Managing Principal
Maurice and Fischer

Jacob Sitati is cofounder of Maurice and Fischer, an international advocacy firm focused on public affairs, public policy, and market entry strategy. He directs the overall firm business and is the lead counsel on policy and advocacy work for the firm. He has previously served in various capacities in the legal field while working at various boutique labor and employment law firms and the insurance industry in Chicago and the greater Chicago Metropolitan area. Prior to Maurice + Fischer, Sitati worked as a legal consultant for a leading insurance company in the government relations and public policy group. In addition to policy and advocacy work at Maurice+Fischer, Sitati is an adjunct faculty member and assistant professor at Valparaiso University, the executive director of Vision for Kenya, a nonprofit organization, and a President's Circle member at The Chicago Council on Global Affairs. Sitati has a background in economics, political science, information technology and privacy law, and international commerce and policy.

Ted Souder

Head of Industry, Retail

A 12-plus year veteran at Google, Ted Souder is currently the head of industry retail, based in Google's Chicago office. In this role, he manages a team that oversees the Google experience for some of the largest retail companies in the United States. Prior to his role in retail, Souder spent a year in Paris, France where he oversaw key efforts in Southern and Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and Africa as the head of International Strategic Sales and Operations. Souder also served as a regular industry speaker, employee mentor, and was a member of the executive management team for the SEEMEA region. Currently, he's actively involved in various civic and educational organizations including the board of directors of the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce, the executive advisory board of the Fritz Knoebel School of Hospitality Management at the University of Denver, is a member of the strategy and planning committee at the Economic Club of Chicago, a member of the Expo Chicago Civic Committee, and is a President's Circle member of The Chicago Council on Global Affairs. Souder graduated from the University of Denver.

Yves Thill

A.T. Kearney

During his consulting career, Yves Thill has had the opportunity to work for many leading companies across different industries on a variety of issues. More recently, he's been focused on supply management in the consumer goods and retailers industry, in particular in the Food & Beverage sector. Prior to joining A.T. Kearney, Thill worked in international banking in Europe. Born in Luxembourg and educated in Belgium, his career has taken him across both Europe and North America. He is fluent in several European languages, including French, German, and Luxembourgish. Thill has an M.B.A. from the Ross Business School at the University of Michigan.

Courtney A. Thompson

Director, Government Operations, Great Lakes Region
The Boeing Company

Courtney Thompson is Boeing's government operations leader for the Great Lakes region including IL, IN, MI, MN, and WI. In this capacity, she leads the company's community outreach efforts for the business, government, and international communities as well as Boeing's Chicago Global Corporate Citizenship team. Prior to this current position, Thompson was director of employee communications and the communications leader for the human resources and administration organizations. She joined Boeing's corporate communications team in May of 2002. Thompson currently serves on the boards of the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce, Chicago Sister Cities International, the Gene Siskel Film Center, the Joffrey Ballet, and the Civic Federation. She received her BA from Providence College and an MBA from Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management.

Jennifer Thompson

Executive Vice President

As executive vice president of crisis, issues, and risk at Edelman, Jennifer Thompson develops strategy and mitigation solutions for corporate crisis and risk avoidance. Working with multinational clients to respond to situations and also proactively develop reputation management plans, she engages Edelman's global team to help guide the practice in the international realm. Prior to joining Edelman, Thompson spearheaded international business strategy for Oshkosh Corporation, a specialty vehicle manufacturer headquartered in Wisconsin. Previously, she served six years on Capitol Hill as legislative director to Congressman Robin Hayes of North Carolina, a senior member of the House Armed Services Committee, and led military policy and appropriations matters. Thompson received her M.B.A. from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. She has an M.A. in National Security and Strategic Studies from the Naval War College and holds a B.A. with honors in International Studies and History from Northwestern University.

Mark R. Williams

Managing Director
Huron Consulting

Mark Williams is a managing director at Huron Consulting and leads the Discovery Services Group comprised of multiple business units, data analytics, and nine review centers around the world seating 1500 attorneys. Prior to joining Huron, Williams served as Senior Vice President and member of Management/Planning Committee of Axiom Global, Inc. and head of its managed discovery division, LawyerLink. Prior to that, Williams was at the law firm of DLA Piper where he was a partner in the corporate and finance group and hiring partner. During his 18 years at DLA Piper, Williams spent four years in China, where he was managing partner, and one year in Qatar, where he opened the Doha Office and was head of corporate. He was also one of the founders of an India-based legal process outsourcing business. Williams holds a J.D. from Columbia University Law School, an M.B.A. from the University of Maryland/Beijing University for International Business and Economics, an M.Sc. in International Relations from The London School of Economics and Political Science, and a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Illinois. In addition to China and Qatar, Williams has lived and worked in England, Spain, South Africa (at the Legal Resources Centre, a human rights law firm), Korea (at the law firm of Lee & Ko), and Thailand (as a Henry Luce Foundation Scholar), and has traveled to over 150 countries.