The Civic Leadership Academy graduates its inaugural class

The Civic Leadership Academy graduates its inaugural class

For all of the great work they do, local governments and nonprofits are often hard-pressed to find the time and resources to invest in developing their leaders. That's why Civic Consulting Alliance, the University of Chicago, and LISC collaborated to develop the Civic Leadership Academy (CLA), a new, interdisciplinary certification program founded to train Chicago's emerging leaders to be successful in their fields.

This past June, the first class of 28 fellows-15 rising leaders from nonprofit organizations and 13 from government offices-graduated from the CLA. The program provided the cohort with six months of classes led by business practitioners and University of Chicago faculty on topics such as leadership, strategy and management, human capital, and civic innovation. Civic Consulting Alliance helped to design the program, recruited public-sector participants, provided feedback on fellows' capstone projects, and taught a unit. The fellows traveled to Johannesburg to apply the lessons they learned in Chicago to a civic challenge alongside their South African peers.

At the conclusion of the program, each fellow received a Certificate of Civic Leadership from the Chicago Harris School of Public Policy.

Applications for the second year of the program, which is open to eligible candidates working in nonprofits and public-sector agencies, will be available in September. 


The Civic Leadership Academy was like drinking from a fire hose. With more in my toolkit, I can better handle what comes at me.

Paul Thompson

Dean, College to Careers

Harold Washington College