Former President of Catholic Relief Services, Carolyn Y. Woo, will be the speaker at Carlow University's Commencement on May 13.
Marketing and Communications
For Immediate Release
Drew Wilson, Director, Media Relations
April 20, 2017
Catholic Relief Services’ Carolyn Woo Will Address Graduates on May 13
Carlow Will Award Honorary Doctorates to Dr. Woo and
Operation Safety Net’s Founder, Dr. Jim Withers
Pittsburgh, Pa. – Carolyn Woo, PhD, the recently retired president and CEO of Catholic Relief Services (CRS), will address the graduates of Carlow University at Commencement on Saturday, May 13, 2017 at Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hall in Oakland.
In addition to giving the Commencement Address, Dr. Woo will receive an honorary doctorate from Carlow. Also receiving an honorary doctorate at the commencement ceremony will be Jim Withers, MD. Dr. Withers is the founder and medical director of Operation Safety Net, an award-winning Pittsburgh Mercy community outreach program that serves in the tradition of the Sisters of Mercy, bringing medical care to the homeless on the streets of Pittsburgh.
Dr. Woo, who retired on December 31, 2016, had served as the president and CEO of CRS, the official international humanitarian agency of the Catholic community in the United States, since January 2012.
Before coming to CRS, she served from 1997 to 2011 as dean of the University of Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business. Born and raised in Hong Kong, Dr. Woo immigrated to the United States to attend Purdue University, where she received her bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees. She joined the faculty at Purdue, and her teaching, research, and administrative leadership were recognized numerous times throughout her career. She was the first female dean to chair the accreditation body for business schools and the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), and she directed its Peace through Commerce initiative. She also helped launch the Principles for Responsible Management Education for the United Nations Global Compact. (Please see a complete bio at the end of this release.)
More than 600 undergraduate and graduate students will receive their bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degrees during the ceremony.
Biography for Carolyn Y. Woo, PhD
Former President and CEO of Catholic Relief Services
From 2012 to 2016, Carolyn Y. Woo, PhD, served as President and CEO of Catholic Relief Services, the official international humanitarian agency of the Catholic community in the United States. Previous positions include dean of the University of Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business and associate executive vice president for academic affairs at Purdue University. She was born and raised in Hong Kong and immigrated to the United States to attend Purdue University, where she received her bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate degrees.
Woo was the first female dean to chair the accreditation body for business schools (Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business) and directed its Peace Through Commerce initiative. She currently sits on the boards of: Aileron Foundation; Catholic University of America; Archdiocese of Baltimore Independent Child Abuse Review Board; Migration & Refugee Services, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops; and the International Policy Committee, United States of Conference of Catholic Bishops.
Woo was one of five presenters in Rome at the release of Pope Francis’ encyclical on the environment in June 2015. Her faith, journey, and work at CRS are recounted in her book, “Working for a Better World,” (2015). Her Catholic News Service monthly column took first place in the 2013 Catholic Press Association Awards in the category of Best Regular Column—Spiritual Life.
Representing CRS, 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.”
About Carlow University
Carlow is a private, co-educational, Catholic university located in the heart of Pittsburgh’s “Eds, Meds, and Tech” district. Founded by the Sisters of Mercy, Carlow’s graduates, curriculum, and partnerships reflect its strong commitment to social justice; ethical, forward-thinking and responsible leadership; and service to the community that has a meaningful impact. Undergraduate and graduate degrees are offered in three colleges: Health and Wellness, Leadership and Social Change, and Learning and Innovation. Carlow graduates are in demand for their professional expertise, in fields ranging from nursing, the sciences, and perfusion technology to counseling, education, and forensic accounting; their entrepreneurial spirit and creative mindset; and their ability to manage change. Carlow’s eleven athletic teams are known as the Celtics, a reflection of the university’s Irish heritage and roots.