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The Chicago Council on Global Affairs announced its 2024 class of the Emerging Leaders program today. Selected from a pool of highly competitive applicants, the class includes 20 of Chicago’s best and brightest from some of its most prominent organizations including the YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago, the Consulate General of Canada in Chicago, Jenner & Block, the Ruff Institute for Global Homelessness, American Muslim Health Professionals, Feeding America, and the University of Chicago, among others.    

Over the next year, the 2024 Emerging Leaders will engage in a rigorous program to further their knowledge of U.S. foreign policy and global challenges and strengthen their leadership skills. Participants will deepen their understanding of global affairs and policy through a year of skills trainings, site visits, and discussions with a wide array of policymakers and other experts.   

"Today's global challenges often feel more intractable than ever, particularly in our increasingly polarized society,” said Ariel Schwartz, director of the emerging leaders program. “Together, our impressive Emerging Leaders Class of 2024 will lean into civil discourse about these challenges and their impact on the city of Chicago, while also developing the knowledge, networks, and skills to generate collective change on local and international scales." 

This is the 15th year of the Emerging Leaders Program. The 2024 class will participate in briefings with Council experts and Emerging Leaders alumni to explore global security, global cities, economic inequality, food insecurity and other topical global issues defining U.S. engagement abroad. They will meet with policymakers in Washington, D.C., attend Council events, and train in policy analysis, collaborative problem-solving, and media skills.   

This year's class participants are:   

  • Ali Alsarraf, Special Counsel, Jenner & Block 

  • Erick Amick, Executive Director, Kiphart Center for Global Health and Social Development, University of Chicago 

  • Ryan Farrell, Executive Vice President, Edelman Delta 

  • Alaina Hampton, Political Consultant and Strategist 

  • Patrick Hanley, Partner, Mason Rocque 

  • Kelwin Harris, Chief Civic Engagement Officer, Deputy Assessor, Cook County Assessor's Office 

  • Bryant Ives, Managing Director, EY 

  • Tina Kotrych, Senior Investment Officer, Consulate General of Canada in Chicago 

  • Julia Lane, Assistant Vice President for Science, University of Chicago 

  • Mike Lombardo, Principal, Blue Star Properties 

  • Juan Pablo Moreno, Partner, Mayer Brown LLP 

  • Yasmeen Muhammad, Principal, Louis Nettelhorst Elementary School 

  • Juan P. Rossi, Vice President, Archer Daniels Midland 

  • Agneis Schultz, Vice President, Community Innovation and Impact, YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago 

  • Kathleen Slingerland, Manager, Regulatory Affairs; Nature's Fynd 

  • Lydia Stazen, Executive Director, Ruff Institute of Global Homelessness 

  • Christopher Swann, Senior Program Manager, Feeding America 

  • Chad Tischer, Partner, Fiducient Advisors 

  • Ben van Loon, Managing Director & Editor-in-Chief, Association of Foreign Investors in Real Estate (AFIRE) 

  • Arshia Wajid, Founder and Board Member, American Muslim Health Professionals (AMHP) 

Emerging Leaders program alumni include Umi Grigsby, policy director for Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson, Congressmen Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL) and Sean Casten (D-IL), Brent Neiman, undersecretary for international finance for the U.S. Treasury, architect and 2019 TIME 100 honoree Jeanne Gang, Bria Scudder, deputy governor for public safety, infrastructure, environment, and energy in Illinois, Katherine Maehr, CEO of the Greater Chicago Food Depository, Founding Executive Director of the University of Chicago Crime Lab and Education Lab Roseanna Ander, and Illinois State Representative Kam Buckner.   

The Emerging Leaders program was established in 2008 and has graduated 277 participants to date. The application for the class of 2025 will open early in 2024. More information about the Emerging Leaders program is available at