The Office of Civic Engagement researches, develops, implements and promotes the work of civic leadership education throughout the University. By initiating, implementing, and evaluating the Civic Leadership Academy, the Office of Civic Engagement established UChicago as a center of civic innovation and interdisciplinary collaboration.

If you would like more information about how an urban research university can partner with its home city to advance the work of civic leaders, please contact Joanie Friedman, executive director of civic leadership, in the Office of Civic Engagement.

Civic Leadership Academy

In 2015 the Office of Civic Engagement created the Civic Leadership Academy, 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. Developed in partnership local government, LISC Chicago and the Civic Consulting Alliance, the program is designed to develop a pipeline of talented leaders to help nonprofits and government agencies thrive. The program demonstrates the University’s commitment to harnessing faculty and civic practitioners to benefit high-potential civic leaders in the city of Chicago. This University-wide program is stewarded by the Harris School of Public Policy.

The following are other civic leadership programs at UChicago.

Harris Public Policy

Obama Scholars

The Obama Foundation Scholars Program features a graduate degree tailored for promising international leaders – the Master of Arts degree in International Development and Policy (MAIDP) – offered by the world-renowned University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy. 

International Innovation Corps: U.S. Applied Data and Governance Fellowship

In recent years, data-driven analysis has become an important part of policy development. While governments are increasingly investing in data analysis capabilities, there still remains a significant gap between data analysis and actual policy implementation. The IIC aims to provide a bridge between data and policy through a new one-year U.S. based fellowship in applied data and governance.

Chicago Booth School of Business

Civic Scholars Program

The Civic Scholars Program, part of Booth's Weekend MBA Program, is a highly selective program designed for impact-driven professionals who work in a 501(c) designated nonprofit organization or for the government. This program offers full-tuition scholarships funded by a gift from the Neubauer Family Foundation to qualifying professionals from across the US.

Harry L Davis Center for Leadership 

Harry L Davis Center for Leadership is an incubator and proving ground for generating new insights about leadership that impact education, practice, and discovery for future generations of students.

Rustandy Center for Social Sector Innovation

The Rustandy Center for Social Sector Innovation is Chicago Booth’s destination for people tackling complex social and environmental problems. Its leadership blends academic expertise with real-world experience at nonprofits, for-profit businesses, and in government. That mix is required, as the lines separating these institutions are blurring—with for-profits adopting social missions, and nonprofits recognizing that business skills are needed to scale their efforts.

Across the University

Divinity School: Chicago Commons Project

The Chicago Commons Project engages early-career Chicago-area clergy in an intensive program of leadership development, cultivating resilience, stamina and wisdom for the challenging work of religious leadership. The project identifies talented young ministers at a pivotal stage in their careers, gathering them into ecumenically, theologically and racially diverse peer cohorts who participate in a two-year program of intensive theological and civic reflection, featuring significant conversations with influential civic leaders and engagement with some of our city’s generators of artistic and cultural expression.

The Data Science for Social Good Fellowship 

The Data Science for Social Good Fellowship is a University of Chicago summer program to train aspiring data scientists to work on data mining, machine learning, big data, and data science projects with social impact. Working closely with governments and nonprofits, fellows take on real-world problems in education, health, energy, public safety, transportation, economic development, and international development.

Institute of Politics: Leaders of Color

Leaders of Color aims to increase the participation of minority students in leadership opportunities across the UChicago campus. Targeted specifically towards first and second year students of color, the program seeks to prepare students with the skills to achieve internships and leadership positions on campus and beyond.