Catholic Relief Services President and CEO Carolyn Woo to Speak at Viterbo University Nov. 6

Oct. 20, 2014

Contact Rick Kyte at 608-796-3704 or


LA CROSSE, Wis. – Catholic Relief Services President and CEO Carolyn Woo will present “Common Good, Uncommon Excellence” at 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 6 in the Viterbo University Fine Arts Center Main Theatre.

Founded in 1943 to serve World War II survivors, Catholic Relief Services has grown to an organization of 5,000 people working in 93 countries on five continents and reaching nearly 100 million of the world’s poorest people each year with innovative solutions to difficult problems such as poverty, hunger, drought, disease, and emergencies. Catholic Relief Services is the official international humanitarian agency of the Catholic community in the U.S. and the official overseas relief and development agency of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

“Carolyn Woo is a fantastic speaker and an inspirational leader,” said Rick Kyte, director of the D.B. Reinhart Institute for Ethics in Leadership at Viterbo University. “She is a modern day Good Samaritan who is carrying out Christ’s call to ‘love one’s neighbor’ by responding to people in desperate need all over the world.”

Woo began at Catholic Relief Services in January 2012 after a distinguished career in academia. She served as the dean of the University of Notre Dame Mendoza College of Business from 1997–2011. During her tenure, the Mendoza School of Business was frequently recognized as the U.S.’s leading business school in ethics education and research and received the top ranking in 2010 and 2011 for its undergraduate business program from Bloomberg Businessweek magazine.

Woo was featured in the May/June 2013 issue of Foreign Policy as one of the 500 Most Powerful people on the planet and one of only 33 in the category of “a force for good.”

Born and raised in Hong Kong, Woo moved to the U.S. to attend Purdue University, from which she earned a bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, and a Ph.D. and became a member of the faculty. She served as the associate executive vice president for academic affairs at Purdue University prior to her career at the University of Notre Dame.

In addition to being named a distinguished alumna and honorary alumna from Purdue University and the University of Notre Dame, respectively, Woo has received honorary doctorates from Providence College, the University of St. Francis, Lewis University, and the University of Notre Dame.

From 2004–2010, Woo served on the Board of Directors at Catholic Relief Services. Today, in addition to other posts, she serves on the Board of Directors for Catholic Charities USA, the Board of Regents at the University of Portland, and the Executive Council on Development of the Center for Strategic and International Studies, and the International Policy Committee of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

This presentation is part of the D.B. Reinhart Institute for Ethics in Leadership’s fall lecture series. The event is free and open to the public. No tickets are necessary, but seating is limited. For a full schedule of D.B. Reinhart Institute for Ethics in Leadership events, visit