Sally Blount on the Journey from Kellogg Dean to Non-Profit CEO

by Catholics at Booth (FT)

Educational Faith Lunch Social Impact

Thu, May 11, 2023

11:45 AM – 1:15 PM CDT (GMT-5)

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Harper Center, C05

5807 South Woodlawn Ave, Chicago, Illinois 60637




Join us for a session with a former Booth professor and Kellogg dean to discuss her transition into social impact from academia, how her faith has influenced her career choices, and much more. There will be lots of time for Q&A, and lunch will be provided.

According to the Edelman Trust Barometer, business firms have become the only "trusted" social Institution. Simultaneously, there has been a growing drumbeat around corporate "purpose" over the last 10 years – with companies writing ever more expansive purpose statements about how their firms "improve the world," "make lives more joyful," and "create meaningful community." Yet, business leaders have little training in moral philosophy or religion; markets systems are not inherently wise, kind, or fair. And, at its heart, a company's purpose must be, first and foremost, its promise to its customers and investors. As people of faith, our hope must be in something bigger and more profound . . . What might Catholic Social Teaching suggest?

Sally Blount is the President and CEO of Catholic Charities of Chicago, one of the largest human services providers in the Midwest – serving more than 500,000 people annually. Blount is leading the organization through a three-year capabilities-building and strategic planning process that will reimagine Charities' governance and deepen its impact -- as they prepare to serve those in need in an increasingly polarized and economically unequal, post-pandemic world.

In addition to her current role at Catholic Charities, Blount is the Michael L. Nemmers Professor of Strategy at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, where she is also a proud alumna and former dean. From 2010-2018, Blount served as dean at the Kellogg School of Management. Prior to that, from 2004-2010, she served as dean of the New York University undergraduate College of Business and vice dean of the Stern School of Business. In both deanships, Blount was a record-setting fundraiser, partnering with and leading teams that completed two capital campaigns that were transformational for their institutions, together raising more than $550M. A natural change agent, Blount worked with faculty at both schools to envision and implement substantive innovations in curriculum design, research, executive outreach, and global education, while dramatically improving the caliber of students applying to and attending both programs. She is also proud to have led the teams that envisioned, funded, and completed two significant building projects, one in the heart of New York City and one on the shores of Lake Michigan.

Blount sits on the board of two Fortune 500 companies, Abbott Laboratories and Ulta Beauty, as well as the boards of the Joyce Foundation and the Economic Club of Chicago. She is also a member of the Finance Council of the Archdiocese of Chicago, where she is part of the team working with the Cardinal to re-envision leadership development for priests.

Blount is the author of two books and more than 30 peer-reviewed academic publications in negotiations and behavioral economics and a two-time recipient of National Science Foundation research grants. At year-end 2017, she was named one of LinkedIn's Top Voices and Poets and Quants Dean of the Year. Blount is regularly featured in news outlets such as The Harvard Business Review, Financial Times, Forbes, The Economist, Bloomberg Businessweek, Fortune, and MSNBC. In 2012, she co-chaired the World Economic Forum on Latin America.

Blount holds M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from the Kellogg School at Northwestern University and a B.S. in engineering from Princeton University. Her first faculty appointment was at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business from 1992 to 2001. In 2001, she joined New York University's Stern School of Business, where she became the Abraham L. Gitlow Professor of Management and chaired the promotion and tenure committee, before assuming the college deanship in 2004. Blount worked for several years between college and graduate school, first for the Boston Consulting Group and later as business manager for an architecture and design firm.

Blount is the mother of three now-adult children, Melissa, Haley, and Cameron, and daily companion to two dogs, Remi and Rebel Joe.

Hosted By

Catholics at Booth (FT) | Website | View More Events
Co-hosted with: Christians in Business (FT), Giving Something Back (FT), Net Impact (FT), Low-Income/First-Generation Group (FT)

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