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Former Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel presenting at the 2015 Global Leadership Awards

Each year, the Chicago Council on Global Affairs holds a Global Leadership Awards Dinner to honor distinguished individuals for their outstanding achievements in the realms of international relations, global thought leadership, and philanthropy. 

Ivo Daalder speaking on-stage behind a podium
In-Person EVENT Global Leadership Awards Dinner
Honoring U.S. Ambassador Rahm Emanuel, President of United Airlines Brett Hart, and Emerging Leader alumna Shoba Pillay.

2023 Global Leadership Award Honorees

Ursula von der Leyen

 European Commission President

Jennifer Scanlon

UL Solutions President and CEO

Full list of 2023 honorees and sponsors

2022 Centennial Celebration Honorees

Barack Obama

44th President of the United States of America

Yo-Yo Ma


Full list of 2022 Centennial Celebration honorees and sponsors

2021 Global Leadership Award Honorees

Madeleine K. Albright

64th US Secretary of State
Chair, Albright Stonebridge Group

Condoleezza Rice

66th US Secretary of State
Director, Hoover Institution, Stanford University

Full list of 2021 Century of Global Leadership events and sponsors

2020 Global Leadership Award Honorees

Paul Farmer, MD, PhD

Cofounder and Chief Strategist, Partners In Health
Professor, Harvard University

Helene Gayle, MD, MPH

President and CEO, Chicago Community Trust

Keith E. Williams

Former President and CEO, UL LCC

Full list of 2020 honorees and sponsors

2019 Global Leadership Award Honorees

Frederick H. Waddell

Retired Chairman and CEO
Northern Trust

Susan Schwab

Strategic Advisor
Mayer Brown, LLP

David Miliband

President and CEO
International Rescue Committee

Full list of 2019 honorees and sponsors

2018 Global Leadership Award Honorees

Timothy P. Shriver, Ph.D.

Special Olympics International

Carole Segal

Crate and Barrel
The Segal Family Foundation

Full list of 2018 honorees and sponsors

2017 Global Leadership Award Honorees

The Honorable Penny Pritzker

Founder and Chairman
PSP Capital Partners and Pritzker Realty Group

The Honorable Michael H. Moskow

Vice Chair and Distinguished Fellow, Global Economy
Chicago Council on Global Affairs

Full list of 2017 honorees and sponsors

2016 Global Leadership Award Honorees

Samuel C. Scott III

Retired Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer
Corn Products International, Inc.

Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy

Academy Award-winning Pakistani documentary filmmaker

Full list of 2016 honorees and sponsors

2015 Global Leadership Award Honoree

Lester Crown

Henry Crown and Company; Chicago Council on Global Affairs

Full list of 2015 honorees and sponsors

2014 Global Leadership Award Honorees

Greg Q. Brown

Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
Motorola Solutions, Inc.

His Excellency Anders Fogh Rasmussen

Secretary General
North Atlantic Treaty Organization

2013 Global Leadership Award Honorees

John A. Canning, Jr.

Madison Dearborn Partners

The Honorable Thomas R. Pickering

Former Ambassador and Under Secretary of State

Leymah R. Gbowee

2011 Nobel Peace Laureate

Gbowee Peace Foundation Africa

2012 Global Leadership Award Honorees

Glenn F. Tilton

Chairman of the Midwest Region
JPMorgan Chase & Co.

Lee H. Hamilton

The Center on Congress at Indiana University

Rt. Hon. Helen Clark

UN Development Programme

2011 Global Leadership Award Honorees

James A. Skinner

Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
McDonald’s Corporation

The Honorable Madeleine K. Albright

Former US Secretary of State

Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

Managing Director
World Bank

2010 Global Leadership Award Honorees

David B. Speer

Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
Illinois Tool Works Inc.

Peter G. Peterson

Founder and Chairman
Peter G. Peterson Foundation

Ernesto Zedillo

Frederick Iseman '74 Director
Yale Center for the Study of Globalization

2009 Global Leadership Award Honorees

John W. Rowe

Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
Exelon Corporation

The Honorable William S. Cohen

Former US Secretary of Defense
Former US Senator and Member of Congress for Maine

Dr. Nafis Sadik

Former Executive Director
UN Population Fund

2008 Global Leadership Award Honorees

William A. Osborn

Northern Trust Corporation

James D. Wolfensohn

Former President
World Bank

Mary Robinson

Realizing Rights: The Ethical Globalization Initiative

2007 Global Leadership Award Honorees

Andrew J. McKenna

Schwarz Paper Company
McDonald's Corporation

Lt. General Brent Scowcroft

Founder and President
The Scowcroft Group

Sadako Ogata

Japan International Cooperation Agency

2006 Global Leadership Award Honorees

Mrs. Shirley Welsh Ryan

Pathways Awareness Foundation

Patrick G. Ryan

Executive Chairman
Aon Corporation

The Honorable Paul A. Volcker

Former Chairman
Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System

President Fernando Henrique Cardoso

Former President of Brazil

2005 Global Leadership Award Honorees

Edgar D. Jannotta

William Blair & Company

Ambassador Carla A. Hills

Former US Trade Representative

Dr. Helmut Kohl

Former Chancellor of Germany

2004 Global Leadership Award Honorees

John W. Madigan

Retired Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
Tribune Company

Richard L. Thomas

Retired Chairman
First Chicago NBD Corporation

The Honorable Catherine Ann Bertini

Former Executive Director
UN World Food Programme

The Right Honorable The Lord Robertson of Port Ellen

Former Secretary General of NATO

2003 Global Leadership Award Honorees

John H. Bryan 

Retired Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
Sara Lee Corporation

Senator George J. Mitchell

Former US Senator from Maine