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City Leadership and the COVID-19 Response

The 2020 Pritzker Forum on Global Cities was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, so leaders from around the world joined us to recognize the increasingly important role of city leadership.
Event Date

About This Event

In the response to COVID-19, cities have once again demonstrated their potential to address challenges that transcend national boundaries. We can create a more sustainable and equitable future with cities in the lead.

Featured Event Videos

Maimunah Mohd Sharif speaks on-screen Play Video

Maimunah Mohd Sharif, Executive Director of UN-Habitat, discusses the fundamental inequalities that have been highlighted in COVID-19 pandemic.

Lori Lightfoot speaks on-screen Play Video

Mayor Lori Lightfoot of Chicago recognizes the critical role cities have played in leading the COVID-19 response. 

Watch all videos from this event.

About the Speakers
Kostas Bakoyannis
Mayor, Athens
Headshot for Kostas Bakoyannis
Previously, Kostas Bakoyannis served as Governor of Central Greece and Mayor of Karpenissi. He holds an MA from Harvard John F. Kennedy School of Government and a PhD in political science and international relations from the University of Oxford. He is a member of the European Council on Foreign Relations and a Greek Leadership Council member of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network.
Headshot for Kostas Bakoyannis
Vivian Balakrishnan
Minister of Foreign Affairs, Singapore
Keisha Lance Bottoms
Mayor of Atlanta
CEO, Chicago Council on Global Affairs
Headshot of Ivo H. Daalder
Ivo H. Daalder served as the US ambassador to NATO from 2009 to 2013. He joined the Council as president in 2013 and took on the new role of CEO in 2023. Previously, he was a senior fellow in foreign policy studies at the Brookings Institution and served as director for European affairs on President Bill Clinton’s National Security Council. He is the author or editor of 10 books.
Headshot of Ivo H. Daalder
Jenny Durkan
Mayor, Seattle
Jenny Durkan headshot
Mayor Jenny Durkan has delivered on the promise of two years of free college for Seattle high school students, expanded access to affordable pre-k, and provided free transit to students. Before becoming mayor, Durkan was appointed by President Barack Obama to serve as the US Attorney for the Western District of Washington, becoming the first openly gay US Attorney in the country’s history.
Jenny Durkan headshot
Ekrem Imamoğlu
Mayor of Istanbul
Lamia Kamal-Chaoui
Director, OECD Centre for Entrepreneurship, SMEs, Regions & Cities
Horacio Rodríguez Larreta
Mayor of Buenos Aires
Mayor, Chicago
Headshot for Lori Lightfoot
Lori Lightfoot is the 56th Mayor of Chicago. She's the first Black woman to serve as Chicago's Mayor and has undertaken an ambitious agenda of expanding equity and inclusion across the city. Most recently, Mayor Lightfoot served as a senior equity partner at Mayer Brown, president of the Chicago Police Board, and chair of the Police Accountability Task Force.
Headshot for Lori Lightfoot
Peter Maurer
President, International Committee of the Red Cross
Marvin Rees
Mayor, Bristol
Headshot for Marvin Rees
Marvin Rees is the elected mayor of Bristol, UK. He was elected in May 2016, becoming the first European city mayor of Black African-Caribbean descent, and has prioritized housing, transportation, and early health and education intervention. After beginning his career in the voluntary sector, Rees worked in Washington, DC on the response of faith-based organizations to President Clinton's Welfare Reform Bill.
Headshot for Marvin Rees
Jesús Seade
Undersecretary for North America and Chief Negotiator of USMCA, Mexico
Maimunah Mohd Sharif
Executive Director, UN-Habitat
Chair of the Editorial Board and Editor-at-Large, US, Financial Times
Gillian Tett headshot
Gillian Tett is chair of the editorial board and editor-at-large, US of the Financial Times. She writes weekly columns covering a range of economic, financial, political, and social issues. In 2014 she was named Columnist of the Year in the British Press Awards. In addition, Tett’s past roles include US managing editor, assistant editor, and capital markets editor.
Gillian Tett headshot