Emerging Leaders Network

 About ELN

Emerging Leaders are young professionals who believe in the importance of strengthening and promoting the international development sector and the broader civil society community. The Emerging Leaders Network (ELN) exists as a space where emerging leader voices, opinions and analyses can be shared, developed and heard – among one another and across the sector as a whole. We believe that opportunities to develop critical thinking and informed dialogue, to support professional capacity and skill development, and to promote mentorship are essential for the development of this generation of leaders within the sector.

The ELN is a peer-led, collaborative group, coordinated and supported by Cooperation Canada.

ELN Vision 

Emerging Leaders are the current and future leaders of the international development and humanitarian assistance sector. These individuals will one day become responsible for directing policy, programming and management on behalf of the sector. Investing in today’s Emerging Leaders helps to support a cohort of skilled, collaborative, creative, well-informed and committed leaders.

There is no cost to join the ELN. Cooperation Canada provides the ELN with modest funding. In the past the ELN has received special funding, as well as in-kind contributions (space, catering and translation) from various Cooperation Canada member organizations for specific initiatives. The ELN welcomes this generous support which enables the network to implement its various activities.

ELN Mentorship Program

The ELN has a Mentorship Program! This six-month program helps Emerging Leaders develop new skills, build their professional networks, learn from the experiences of established leaders and identify next steps for their careers. It will also provide senior level professionals the opportunity to help shape the next generation of leaders in the sector. This program runs each year from January to June.

ELN Members

Members of the ELN are individuals who work in the sector and self-identify as part of the next generation of sector leaders. While Emerging Leaders can self-identify, they must also complete a registration form, signed by their supervisor (ideally at the Executive Director level). This endorsement demonstrates the Cooperation Canada member organization’s commitment to the Network’s vision and activities as well as the participation of the respective ELN member. Please note, there is no age limit to join the ELN nor is there a limit of ELN members per organization. Members must feel represented by the mandate and work of the network.


ELN Member Benefits ELN Member Responsibilities
Opportunity to be part of a unique and diverse network of professionals working together within the development sector Ensure your organization understands and is committed to the ELN, its activities and objectives and endorses your participation
Access to Emerging Leaders participation at the annual Cooperation Canada conference and other Cooperation Canada member activities / events Active and constructive contribution to the network, either through event attendance, contribution to online conversation or involvement at the organizational/ planning level
Participation in thought-leadership activities, and professional development opportunities Promote the network amongst your colleagues and to other potential emerging leaders
Connection to relevant mentorship from leaders within the sector Information sharing with other members about events, articles and opportunities via the listserv


 For all questions regarding the Emerging Leaders Network, please contact Erika Richter.