At the Metropolitan Leadership Institute (MLI), we believe that our Chicagoland community is filled with untapped leadership potential and talent. Our goal is to enable the economic self-sufficiency of Latinos in areas that drive civic leadership, public policy and shape political discourse that open the doors of opportunity.

UNO has always created new avenues of public leadership and engaged Latinos toward civic action. More than ever, we have a responsibility to train new leaders – to develop them to be more than just activists. MLI helps new leaders generate results rather than frustration and to keep them from becoming disillusioned by the public decision-making process, or worse, disengaged from it altogether.


Since 2001, MLI has built a legacy of nearly 400 leaders who are changing the conversation and realizing their vision for change. We are committed to helping new leaders become part of the decision making process through education, entrepreneurship, leadership, and civic engagement.

The MLI program is far from an academic exercise. It equips emerging leaders with the tools needed to succeed as they are challenged to:

  1. Take the plunge into public leadership and realize their visions for change
  2. Gain a greater appreciation for the ambiguities and nuances of the public arena
  3. Think critically and master the challenges that come with being a leader in your industry


MLI has quickly become a who’s who of emerging Hispanic leaders in metropolitan Chicago. Our graduates have made a conscious decision to take their passion for leadership to the next level of impact and engagement. Some of our distinguished MLI visiting lecturers include:

  • Former Mayor Richard M. Daley
  • Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan
  • Former CEO of Chicago Public Schools Paul Vallas
  • Author Nicolas C. Vaca
  • Alderman Edward M. Burke
  • Alderman Daniel Solis
  • Alderman Joe Moreno
  • Chicago Sun-Times columnist Mary Mitchell

MLI has quickly become a who’s who of emerging Hispanic leaders in metropolitan Chicago and actively recruits for the next class of Latino leaders. Our impressive network represents only a portion of the potential of metropolitan Chicago’s Latino community. Consider joining the ranks of our prestigious alumni or sign up to receive information about our program.