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Twelve emerging social sector leaders will join the University of Chicago Booth School of Business as part of the Civic Scholars Program this fall.

The new students will join 23 current students and 36 alumni of the program designed for rising leaders dedicated to careers in social impact. This year’s cohort includes three Full-Time MBA students, four Evening MBA students, and five Weekend MBA students.

Since 2016, the Chicago Booth’s Civic Scholars Program, established with support from the Neubauer Family Foundation, has offered scholarships to Booth MBA students who work in the government or nonprofit sectors. 

Each fall, the highly selective program admits a cohort of students—known as Neubauer Civic Scholars—who discuss and apply their MBA learnings to the social sector together, support one another’s leadership journey, and offer unique perspectives within the larger Booth community.

In addition to the core curriculum, Neubauer Civic Scholars receive specialized programming, dedicated faculty directors, and opportunities to engage with civic leaders. 

“Chicago Booth’s multidisciplinary approach towards social impact, and the Rustandy Center for Social Sector Innovation’s partnership with the Civic Scholars Program, prepare students to lead at a time when governments and nonprofits are facing unprecedented challenges,”  said George Wu, the John P. and Lillian A. Gould Professor of Behavioral Science and faculty codirector of the Civic Scholars Program. “The Neubauer Civic Scholars program is a unique opportunity for emerging social sector leaders.” 

The Civic Scholars Program is designed to build strong networks with its cohort model and dedicated programming. The program includes retreats and roundtable discussions that facilitate experiential and community-based learning, hone leadership skills, establish cross-social sector connections, and seed future collaboration.

The scholarship includes a commitment to continue working in the social sector after graduation.

“Neubauer Civic Scholars are impressive in their commitment to make the world better. I am thrilled to welcome the new cohort and look forward to seeing them grow,” said Pradeep K. Chintagunta, the Joseph T. and Bernice S. Lewis Distinguished Service Professor of Marketing, who serves as faculty codirector of the Civic Scholars program with George Wu. “The Civic Scholars Program offers an opportunity to emerging social sector leaders to attend Booth. It also gives the larger Booth community the opportunity to learn from diverse perspectives.”

To learn more about the Civic Scholars Program, visit You can also nominate individuals for the scholarship program through this online form or share this pdf. For more information, contact program director Wai-Sinn Chan.

Note: The deadline to apply for the 2023–24 admissions cycle for the Full-Time MBA Program is September 21, 2023, for Round 1 and January 4, 2024, for Round 2. The Evening and Weekend MBA Program deadline is March 22, 2024.

Congratulations and a warm welcome to the incoming 2023 class of Neubauer Civic Scholars.

Neubauer Civic Scholars

Tim Abram, Washington, D.C.
Weekend MBA
Director of Policy, Charter School Growth Fund

Jesus Ayala, Chicago
Weekend MBA
Chief of Program Strategy and Operations, MetroSquash

Erika Brice, Kansas City, MO
Weekend MBA
Investment Officer, Kresge Foundation

Sylvie Doppelt, Chicago
Evening MBA
Managing Director, Institute for Political Innovation

Keerthana Hogirala, Washington, D.C.
Full-Time MBA
Director of Strategic Initiatives, District of Columbia Public Schools

Naureen Kheraj, Chicago
Full-Time MBA
Associate, The Chicago Public Education Fund

Marthe Leach, Chicago

Weekend MBA
Managing Director, Braven Online

Avni Nahar, Boston
Full-Time MBA
Director, Center for Racial Economic Equity, Jobs for the Future

Adam Newman, Chicago
Evening MBA
Special Assistant for Governmental and Legislative Affairs, Cook County State's Attorney’s Office

Megan Pozsgai, Chicago
Evening MBA
Informatics Program Analyst, Department of Veterans Affairs

Alejandra Valarino Boyer, Northbrook, IL
Weekend MBA
Director, Ravinia Steans Music Institute, Ravinia Festival

Manushi Yadav, Delhi, India
Evening MBA
Director, Strategy and Partnerships, Pratham

* Accepted as a dual degree student

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