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The Chicago Council on Global Affairs announced today it has received a $4 million grant to its Second Century Campaign from the Robert R. McCormick Foundation. These funds will support the Council’s mission to promote public engagement in global affairs and an active US role in the world, and specifically to advance understanding of the increasing importance of global cities in influencing political, social, and economic policies.

“This generous grant demonstrates the foundation’s confidence in the Council to advance innovative ideas and arm civic leaders and experts in shaping a new world order,” said Ambassador Ivo Daalder, president of the Council on Global Affairs. “Cities are on the frontlines of national and global challenges, from immigration to inequity to climate change, and this grant will support the Council’s efforts to convene civic, business, academic, and cultural leaders who, together, can develop creative solutions to these and other issues that transcend borders."

In honor of this significant contribution to the Second Century Campaign, the main room of the Council’s Conference Center, which hosts more than 100 events annually that are attended by over 10,000 people and livestreamed by an audience of nearly 50,000, will be named the Robert R. McCormick Foundation Hall.

This grant builds on a long history of support from the McCormick Foundation. In 2015, a $1.5 million grant from the foundation helped to launch the Council’s global cities work, establishing an entirely new research area and enabling the Council to attract a team of experts with a global reputation for thought leadership on the issue. The foundation’s support allowed the Council to produce original research and analysis on cities including On Global Cities100 Top EconomiesUrban Waterways in Global Cities and Toward City Diplomacy. It also helped to launch the annual Chicago Forum on Global Cities, which is now one of the Council’s signature events.

“We are proud to support the Council’s work of engaging Chicagoans in the global issues of our day,” said David Hiller, president and CEO of the Robert R. McCormick Foundation. “The Council’s leadership has never been more needed.”

In addition to supporting the Council’s global cities work, the funds also will support initiatives aimed at bringing international scholars and practitioners to Chicago, including public programs on timely global affairs issues, the annual Global Leadership Awards that honors individuals for their outstanding achievements in international relations, global thought leadership, and philanthropy, and the three-day international Forum on Global Cities in partnership with the Financial Times.

With a centennial anniversary in 2022, the Council is poised for transformative growth. The Second Century Campaign will allow the Council to explore and develop ideas that address large-scale political, cultural, and technological changes and disruptions that are driving historical shifts in the global order. This grant from the McCormick Foundation builds on a gift to the Second Century Campaign from the Crown Family that established the Council’s recently announced Lester Crown Center on U.S. Foreign Policy.