Carolyn Woo

South Bend, IN

Carolyn Woo is the former president and CEO of Catholic Relief Services (CRS), the official humanitarian agency of the U.S. Catholic community. An expert in corporate strategy and management, Dr. Woo marshalled a comprehensive organizational restructure at CRS and prioritized internal leadership development, positioning the agency for long-term growth while strengthening its Catholic mission. In 2013, Foreign Policy named Carolyn “a force for good” as one of the 500 Most Powerful people on the planet for her work leading one of the largest aid organizations with a global staff of nearly 5,000 and a budget exceeding $800 million.

Dr. Woo took the helm of CRS in 2012 after a distinguished career in academia. For 14 years, she was dean of the Mendoza College of Business at the University of Notre Dame. During her tenure, the College emerged as a leader in ethics education in business. Previously, she served as a faculty member and associate executive vice president at Purdue University, where she had earned three degrees, including a doctorate in strategic management. After retiring from CRS in 2016, she returned to Purdue as Distinguished President’s Fellow for Global Development and continues to promote business ethics and responsibility, serving on a number of corporate and nonprofit boards. Dr. Woo also co-coordinated the Energy Transition dialogues at the Vatican in 2018 and 2019 and holds an honorary degree from Wake Forest.