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Solving Local Problems to Maintain US Global Leadership

The Council’s Emerging Leaders class of 2021 presents a series of short, dynamic presentations on an array of critical current issues.
Lauren Densham
Joi Freeman
S. Mayumi Grigsby
Rachel Hermes
Jon Horek
Kendra Stead
Kim H. Tran
Event Date

About This Event

How should the next generation of leaders approach the interconnected challenges of the 21st century? Equitable, sound policies that address domestic challenges, from education policies to funding climate adaptation, bolster the United States' leadership globally. In a unique programming offering, the Chicago Council on Global Affairs' Emerging Leaders class of 2021 will draw from their professional and personal experiences to share a series of short, dynamic presentations on an array of today's critical issues and trends.

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.

Emerging Leader Presentation Title
Lauren Densham A Different Kind of Pipeline: Prison Apprenticeships to Enable Infrastructure Development 
Joi Freeman Pathways to Equality: Reimagining Policy for the Next Generation
S. Mayumi Grigsby To End Healthcare Disparities, Start Close to Home
Rachel Hermes To Help Americans Better Understand the World, Bring the Peace Corps Experience Home 
Jon Horek A Chicago Green Bank to Expand Local Climate Finance
Kendra Stead Curing the Summertime Blues: Extending the PK-5 School Year to Improve Academic, Social, and Economic Outcomes
Kim H. Tran Housing as Student Success: Modernizing the Pell Grant Program
About the Speakers
Director, Public Sector Strategy, KPMG
Headshot photograph of Lauren Densham
In her current role, Lauren Densham supports public sector, higher education, and nonprofit clients evolve their organizational strategy and processes to more effectively achieve their mission and better serve constituents. While at KPMG, she has supported leading public and private sector organizations with strategy development, organizational transformation, and sustainability initiatives.
Headshot photograph of Lauren Densham
Founder, Remnant Strategy
Headshot photograph of Joi Freeman
Joi Freeman is the founder of Remnant Strategy consultancy where she works at the intersection of culture and commerce to help businesses navigate the ever-evolving global terrain. As a strategist, youth culture enthusiast, and advocate for voices of vulnerable populations, Freeman is regarded as a brand “fixer” who connects the dots between corporate strategy, brand marketing, and social impact.
Headshot photograph of Joi Freeman
Chief of Policy and Advocacy, Office of the City Clerk, City of Chicago
Headshot photograph of S. Mayumi Grigsby
S. Mayumi "Umi" Grigsby is the chief of policy and advocacy for the Office of the City Clerk of Chicago. Under the leadership of City Clerk Anna Valencia, Grigsby is responsible for leading the city clerk’s policy initiatives, including the CityKey Municipal ID program, the Fines, Fees, and Access Collaborative, and the Status of Women and Girls’ Working Group.
Headshot photograph of S. Mayumi Grigsby
Senior Research and Evaluation Partner, Rotary International
Headshot photograph of Rachel Hermes
Rachel Hermes is a senior research and evaluation partner at Rotary International. Rotary is a worldwide organization comprised of 1.2 million business and professional leaders that promote local community initiatives with global action. In her role, she leads Rotary’s five-year global grant model evaluation to understand the effectiveness of the estimated $80 million of grants awarded annually.
Headshot photograph of Rachel Hermes
Project Manager, Sargent & Lundy
Headshot photograph of Jon Horek
At engineering consulting firm Sargent & Lundy, Jon Horek advises clients and delivers projects in the electric utility, gas utility, heavy industry, institutional, and commercial building sectors. He broadly focuses his work on three trends transforming global energy infrastructure—efficiency, decarbonization, and resiliency.
Headshot photograph of Jon Horek
Partner, Sidley Austin LLP
Headshot photograph of Kendra Stead
Kendra Stead has extensive experience in every phase of litigation and typically represents companies and professional services firms in commercial disputes, securities litigation, and professional liability actions. She counsels corporate clients regarding their contractual rights and obligations and regularly pursues and defends large-scale contract disputes.
Headshot photograph of Kendra Stead
Chief of Staff, Chicago State University
Headshot photograph of Kim H. Tran
As the senior advisor to President Zaldwaynaka Scott, Kim H. Tran facilitates critical processes and manages an array of issues in areas across the university such as academic affairs, budget, external affairs, foundation development, human resources, and risk management.
Headshot photograph of Kim H. Tran