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The Civic Leadership Academy (CLA) is an interdisciplinary leadership development program for emerging and high-potential leaders in nonprofit organizations and local government agencies within the City of Chicago and Cook County.

Launched jointly by the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy and Office of Civic Engagement, in partnership with LISC Chicago and the Civic Consulting Alliance, the program is designed to develop a pipeline of talented leaders to help non-profits and government agencies thrive.

The application for the Civic Leadership Academy 2024 cohort has closed. Applications for the 2025 cohort will open in early summer 2024.

Civic Leadership Academy fellows—an annual cohort of 30 high-potential leaders of nonprofit organizations and government agencies that serve residents and communities across the city of Chicago—engage in a six-month interdisciplinary leadership development curriculum that includes lectures, case studies, workshops, conversations with civic leaders throughout Chicago, as well as a week-long global practicum abroad.

How will the Civic Leadership Academy benefit you?

Faculty from all five UChicago professional schools and the College, representing a variety of disciplines, teach in the program alongside civic practitioners.

What makes the Civic Leadership Academy distinctive?


Meet the Civic Leadership Academy faculty and the graduates who are working together to improve the quality of life for the residents of Chicago.

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The application for the 2024 CLA cohort has closed. Follow our website and social media to hear when the 2025 application opens!