The Post-COVID City

June 10, 2021 | 4:00 - 5:15 p.m. CDT

The pandemic has tested the resilience of cities. How we work, play, and exchange ideas will forever reflect this experience. Cities that embrace new thinking and innovations will overcome the challenges and thrive. What solutions, policies, and strategies can advance the social and economic vitality of the post-COVID city?

Registration for this event is free thanks to generous support from our sponsors.




President, Chicago Council on Global Affairs


Ivo H. Daalder served as the US ambassador to NATO from 2009 to 2013 prior to becoming president of the Council. Previously, he was a senior fellow in foreign policy studies at the Brookings Institution and served as director for European affairs on President Bill Clinton’s National Security Council. He is the author or editor of ten books.

Twitter: @IvoHDaalder



International President, Service Employees International Union 

Washington, DC  

Mary Kay Henry is international president of the Service Employees International Union. In 2010, she became the first woman elected to lead the SEIU. Under her leadership, SEIU has won major victories to improve the jobs of healthcare, property services, and public sector workers across the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico.  

Twitter: @MaryKayHenry; @SEIU 



Director, Women’s & Gender Studies, Mount Allison University

Sackville, New Brunswick

Leslie Kern is an associate professor of geography and environment and director of women’s and gender studies at Mount Allison University. She’s the author of Feminist City: Claiming Space in a Man-Made World.  

Twitter: @LellyK



CEO, United Airlines


Scott Kirby is CEO of United Airlines. Previously, he served as the company’s president from 2016 to 2020 and played a pivotal role in enabling United’s cultural transformation and executing the company’s strategic growth plan. Kirby is an industry veteran with a three-decade-long career in significant leadership roles within the airline industry.

Twitter: @united 



Governor, Tokyo


Yuriko Koike is the Governor of Tokyo. Re-elected for a second term in 2020, she’s Tokyo’s first female governor. Koike has previously served as a member of the House of Representatives of Japan and has held several cabinet positions, including Minister of the Environment and Minister of Defense.

Twitter: @ecoyuri; @Tokyo_gov



President, Microsoft 

Redmond, WA

Brad Smith is Microsoft’s president and chief legal officer. Smith plays a key role in representing the company externally and in leading the company’s work on a number of critical issues including privacy, security, accessibility, environmental sustainability and digital inclusion, among others. 

Twitter: @BradSmi; @Microsoft



US Managing Editor, Financial Times

New York City

Peter Spiegel is currently the US managing editor of the Financial Times. Prior to that, he worked at the Los Angeles Times and the Wall Street Journal.

Twitter: @SpiegelPeter


Related Content

Learn More

​Engage with us via Twitter and subscribe to our monthly newsletter to stay up to date with global cities work at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs.

Global Cities Research, Commentary, and Events
  • Cities on the frontline: Managing the coronavirus crisis | June 2020
    Early in the pandemic, senior fellow Ian Klaus and director of global cities research Samuel Kling joined CIDOB to share perspectives from San Francisco and Chicago and how the cities have managed the COVID-19 crisis. The report provided lessons to help guide urban governance in times of pandemics and addressed key issues like multi-stakeholder cooperation, how to create healthier and more livable cities without sacrificing density, and more.

  • Financing Cities’ Recovery from Covid-19 and Preparing for Future Shocks | October 2020
    Senior fellow Ian Klaus and nonresident fellow Mauricio Rodas contributed to the U20 Special Working Group on COVID-19 and Future Shocks. The Special Working Group examined the challenges, impacts and responses to COVID-19 and sought to anticipate future shocks that may affect cities and facilitated the exchange of ideas and policies of U20 city leaders to address the pandemic and its recovery.

  • Crain’s Forum on Regional Planning | October 2020
    Director of global cities research Samuel Kling joined Teresa Cordova, director of the Great Cities Institute, in a Q&A about the strengths of cities, the role of neighborhoods, and the future of Chicago—and of cities in general—in a post-pandemic world.

  • Coronavirus: Will our day-to-day ever be the same? | November 2020
    Director of global cities research Samuel Kling weighs in on how cities will weather the economic challenges of the pandemic, looking at density, transportation, amenities, and more.

  • Special Report: The Future of Cities | November 2020
    The Financial Times looks at how public space, public health, the environment and other areas of city life have changed due to the pandemic. Also featured? A summary of the mayors’ panel from October’s Adapting Governance event.

  • Why We Don’t Believe the Big City Obituary | February 2021
    A survey by The Harris Poll and the Chicago Council on Global Affairs found that most urban residents want to stay in cities and the majority of urban, suburban and rural residents have not been influenced by the pandemic to move.

  • Parsing the “Modal Mix": Two Factors Shaping the Future of Sustainable Urban Mobility | March 2021
    For many cities, the transportation changes brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic are cause for celebration and concern -- cycling has increased and global transportation emissions have declined, but driving is on the rise and public transportation ridership has declined sharply.

  • Are Urbanites Willing to Ditch Cars for More Sustainable Commutes? | April 2021
    In a working paper, Samuel Kling and Alexander Hitch examined the sustainable mobility options cities have to deter city residents from shifting to solo driving. Using polling data from The Harris Poll, Kling and Hitch look at urban and suburban’s residents attitudes towards alternate transportation.

Pritzker Forum
on Global Cities

The Pritzker Forum on Global Cities is cohosted by the Financial Times and the Chicago Council on Global Affairs.

Questions? Contact us.


  • White Facebook Icon
  • White Twitter Icon
  • White Instagram Icon

© 2023 by Chicago Council on Global Affairs.