The International Downtown Association (IDA) selected 30 of the industry’s brightest professionals for the 2021 Emerging Leader Fellowship (ELF) program. These senior staff members hail from 27 cities around North America including Albuquerque, NM; Cambridge, MA; Edmonton, AB; Lincoln, NE; Madison, WI; Oakland, CA; Portland, ME; and Toronto, ON. We’re proud to announce that our own Madeleine Odendahl, Director of Operations, is among those chosen!

Alumni of the IDA Emerging Leader Fellowship program, launched in 2016, are fast becoming sought-after leaders for the future of city building worldwide.

“The success of our Fellowship program underscores how critical this training is to our growing industry,” said David Downey, President and CEO of IDA. “This is the only program of its kind created specifically for urban place management professionals. IDA is looking to further illustrate the importance of our industry by elevating leaders with the necessary skills to champion inclusive city building. Professional development remains a hallmark of IDA.”

The Emerging Leader Fellowship is a week-long experiential program bringing together a cohort of IDA professionals from within the urban district management industry. The fellows learn essential leadership and place management skills and gain practical tools in the areas of place-based economic development, the live-work-play experience, and public-private partnerships.

“I’m incredibly excited to be included in this group of inspiring professionals,” said Odendahl. “As we look towards recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, I’m grateful to be able to learn from and network with the great team IDA has pulled together and, through this experience, better serve District Bridges’s mission.”

This program typically takes place each June in New York City. Due to the impacts of the pandemic, this year’s cohort will receive their intensive instruction delivered by IDA partners at Coro New York Leadership Center over a virtual platform. The group will meet in-person in the spring of 2022 where they will continue their learning with professionals from several business improvement district organizations across the city providing technical in-the-field training. 

Congratulations to the 2021 Emerging Leader Fellowship cohort! For more information about this year’s cohort, visit IDA’s website.