When Chicago plans its future as a global city, four Kellogg graduates will have seats at the table.
Piyush Chaudhari '01, Lisa McClung '96, J. Jordan Shields '06 and Sophia Siskel '99 were chosen from a competitive pool of nominated candidates to participate in the Chicago Council on Global Affairs' Emerging Leaders Program. Selection to the 18-member group was based on one's ability to "equip the city to compete and thrive in the global era."
The program, in its inaugural year, aims to engage the next generation of Chicago leaders and to deepen their understanding of global affairs through a series of high-level seminars on timely issues. In the second year, participants will produce and present a report on a critical global challenge that affects Chicago and the Midwest.
The group represents a broad array of professions, says Rachel Bronson, vice president for programs and studies at the Chicago Council on Foreign Relations. The Kellogg graduates who were chosen share "a strong commitment to and interest in global affairs, a steep career trajectory, civic commitment and interests that complement those of their classmates," she says.
"It was a fantastic honor to be considered for the program," says Chaudhari, an executive vice president at Aon Consulting who advises employers on healthcare, retirement and talent recruitment. "Given what the Chicago Council on Global Affairs does for the city's business landscape and for the community at large, the opportunity to be part of this group gives us a great platform to shape some of the global issues that I care about."
Siskel, president and CEO of the Chicago Botanic Garden, hopes to contribute her perspective on environmental and food production issues to the group's deliberations. "The speakers that they are bringing to us are just remarkable … [and] it's refreshing to be part of a group of people that is pretty much the same age. All of us are growing as leaders together and forming relationships that will last for the rest of our lives."
Shields, a healthcare strategy consultant at Navigant Consulting Inc., said, "What is really exciting about this program is that it's not just a networking opportunity for us — it's focused on re-imagining Chicago's place in the world."
McClung, a senior director at W.M. Wrigley Jr. Company, brings over 15 years of global marketing and product development experience to her participation in the group. She has lived in Africa and Europe. In Chicago, McClung serves on the board of trustees of the Chicago Architecture Foundation, the Women's Board of the Field Museum and Ravinia Associates.