Leadership Development Programs



 On January 21, 2015, CivicAction hosted MetroNext: A Celebration of Rising Civic Leaders. For over six years, CivicAction has cultivated the new wave of city-builders. MetroNext celebrated the many civic-minded rising leaders that have been, and continue to be, part of the CivicAction network working collaboratively to take action on challenging regional issues.

MetroNext Awards

The night introduced two new civic leadership awards:

  • 2015 Emerging Leader Award, presented to Andrew Graham, a member of CivicAction’s Emerging Leaders Network, whose outstanding leadership has made a positive impact on the Greater Toronto and Hamilton region.
  • Lifetime Achievement Award, presented to the Hon. David Crombie, an individual whose outstanding leadership has made a positive impact on the Greater Toronto and Hamilton region and who demonstrates a commitment to developing the leadership of the next generation of city builders.

Sevaun Palvetzian, CEO, CivicAction; Andrew Graham, Emerging Leader 2015; Hon. David Crombie, Lifetime Achievement for Civic Leadership Award Winner; Joe Natale, President & CEO, TELUS

Joe Natale, President and CEO, TELUS; Hon. Kellie Leitch, Federal Minister of Labour; Toronto Mayor John Tory; Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie; and Sevaun Palvetzian, CEO, CivicAction

For more pictures from the night, check out our Flickr page!

For more information on the award selection process, click here.


Through the Emerging Leaders Network (ELN) and the DiverseCity Fellows program, CivicAction brings together civic-minded rising leaders and provides them with the tools and connections to take action on challenging regional issues. Our goals and priorities are to:

  1. Incubate high-impact projects & collaborations: Our emerging leaders have launched a number of innovative city-building projects, including Toronto HomecomingBetter BallotsProject Neutral, the Aboriginal Professionals Association of Canada, and the Pan Am Path.
  1. Build rising leaders’ capacity to lead change and expand the network: ELN members participate in networking events, gain exposure through monthly meetings, engage in thought-provoking dialogue on topical city-building issues, and have unparalleled access to the region’s most influential and respected thinkers and executives who share personal and professional insights with members.
  1. Deliver best-in-class leadership programming: ELN organizes a number of skill-building workshops – on topics like media training, public speaking, and government relations – throughout the year. The DiverseCity Fellows program provides intensive leadership training for 25 rising leaders each year (more information below).


The Emerging Leaders Network (ELN) is where you can find energetic and inspiring emerging leaders who motivate each other to take action. The diversity of the members is complemented by a single desire to make the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA) the best and most prosperous place it can be.

Created in 2006, the network is 900+ rising leaders strong, including more than 130 DiverseCity Fellows alumni. Our members represent a wide range of sectors and industries across the GTHA and are managers, directors, and early executives from organizations such as RBC, Accenture, George Brown College, Infrastructure Ontario, KPMG, Region of Peel, Institute for Canadian Citizenship, IBM, TD Bank Group, and United Way.

The ELN is led by volunteer co-chairs Noreen Javed and Alexandra Stewart and an Executive Committee. Past co-chairs include Rob Drynan, Andrew Graham, Salima Rawji, Mitzie Hunter, and Donna Lindell.

ELN members contribute to the city-building efforts of CivicAction by serving on CivicAction’s Board of Directors, participating in CivicActon’s Steering Committee, attending Greater Toronto Summits and CivicAction Forums, and taking on leadership roles in CivicAction initiatives.

To join the network, please fill out a membership form here.


CivicAction launches new 2014/15 cohort of DiverseCity Fellows! 

Alongside the ELN, CivicAction runs the DiverseCity Fellows program, one of North America’s leading urban fellows programs for rising city-builders. The one-year leadership program supports city-builders to become better leaders and gives them hands-on opportunities to work with high-performers outside their sectors and industries to create change in their communities.

Our DiverseCity Fellows:

  • Lead their own city-building projects
  • Explore leadership and current issues with the region’s influencers and visionaries
  • Get matched with a mentor who supports them in their leadership journey
  • Expand their networks across the region

Each year, the program brings together 25 emerging leaders who reflect the diversity of our region, and kick-starts their collaboration with a wide network of city-builders and leaders in the public, private, and non-profit sectors.

Want to get to know our ELN executive team, the program, and the 2014/15 Fellows better? Click here!