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Policy Innovations to Bolster America's Future

The Council’s Emerging Leaders class of 2022 presents a series of short, dynamic presentations on an array of critical current issues.
Hassen T. Al-Shawaf
Daniel Fenske
MeLena Hessel
Joyce Merkel
Julien Rosan
Vidisha Suman
Event Date

About This Event

The next generation of leaders are advancing policy innovations in trade, digital currency, renewable energy access, tech hubs, and other vital issues to address emergent challenges in an increasingly complex world and bolster America’s global position. In this unique program offering, the Council’s Emerging Leaders Class of 2022 draws from their personal and professional experience to share a series of short, dynamic presentations on an array of today's critical issues and trends. Their ideas and solutions demonstrate the powerful impact of the next generation on their local communities and the wider world.  

Each Emerging Leader's presentation topic is listed below. These presentations are made in the Emerging Leaders' personal capacity and do not represent the position of their employers. A reception will follow the presentations.

Learn more about the Emerging Leaders Program.


This is a hybrid event, meaning members are able to attend in person in our conference center but there will be virtual elements. Space is limited. Not a member and want to participate in person? Join now.

In-person COVID-19 related safety measures will be followed.

Emerging Leader Presentation Title
Hassen Al-Shawaf Strenthening US-Canada Cross-Border Investment
Dan Fenske Strengthening Our Economy and National Security By Helping Smaller Businesses Mitigate Global Supply Chain Risks
MeLena Hessel Community Solar: Enabling Shared, Off-Site Solar for All
Joyce Merkel The Case for a Digital Dollar
Julien Rosan Trade Corps: When Companies and Talent “Think Locally, Act Globally”
Vidisha Suman Establishing Tech-Hubs Across the United States
About the Speakers
US Tax Counsel and Director, US Tax Planning, BMO Financial Group
Hassen T. Al-Shawaf headshot
Hassen Al-Shawaf advises BMO Financial Group (BMOFG) on a range of tax matters, including cross-border and related-party transactions, financial products, corporate reorganizations, and acquisitions. He represents BMOFG before the IRS and in transactions with counterparties. Previously, Al-Shawaf practiced tax law at a Chicago-based international law firm and worked at a public accounting firm.
Hassen T. Al-Shawaf headshot
Partner, Mayer Brown LLP
Daniel Fenske headshot
Dan Fenske is a partner in the litigation and dispute resolution group at Mayer Brown LLP. His practice focuses on antitrust litigation, in particular the defense of cartel, monopolization, and class action cases. Fenske represents clients before courts and agencies, including the Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division and the Federal Trade Commission.
Daniel Fenske headshot
Associate Director of Policy, Elevate
Melena Hessel headshot
MeLena Hessel is associate director of policy at Elevate, a nonprofit organization that designs and implements programs that reduce costs, protect people and the environment, and ensure the benefits of clean and efficient energy use reach those who need them most.
Melena Hessel headshot
Vice President, Foreign Exchange Trading, US Bank
Joyce Merkel headshot
At US Bank, Joyce Merkel is responsible for driving the strategic growth of electronic platform trading for her company and mitigating the ever-changing risks present in the global currency market. She executes quotes for over 400 domestic and international corporate clients, collaborating with the sales team to trade twenty-four hours a day.
Joyce Merkel headshot
Trade Commissioner, Consulate General of Canada in Chicago
Julien Rosan headshot
Julien Rosan joined Global Affairs Canada in 2019 and serves as trade commissioner at the Consulate General of Canada in Chicago, where he's responsible for trade and innovation initiatives to support Canadian technology companies seeking to do business in the US market. He simultaneously serves as the cochair of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion committee at the Canadian Consulate.
Julien Rosan headshot
Partner, Kearney
Vidisha Suman headshot
Vidisha Suman is a partner with Kearney’s digital transformation practice in the Chicago office, with over 15 years of industry and consulting experience in the digital space. She regularly works with companies to help them become digitally enabled and position themselves for growth through digital business models, all while safeguarding their business from cyber exposure.
Vidisha Suman headshot