Lunch Discussion with Sally Blount: "Faith, Markets, and Meaning"

May 11, 2023
Booth School of Business
5807 S Woodlawn Avenue
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Sally BlountCatholic Charities

This event is co-presented by the Lumen Christi Institute and Catholics at Booth. Registration required. Open to students and faculty only. Email to inquire about registration.

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. She is also the Michael L. Nemmers Professor of Strategy at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, where she is a proud alumna and former dean.

Blount is in her second year at Catholic Charities, where she 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. 

An internationally recognized thought leader and award-winning teacher, Blount’s areas of expertise are in organizational leadership, growth and transformation. Blount has been regularly featured in news outlets such as the Harvard Business Review, Wall Street JournalFinancial TimesForbes, Economistand Fortune. In 2012, she co-chaired the World Economic Forum on Latin America, and in 2017, she was named one of LinkedIn’s top voices in Management.

Blount currently sits on the board of Abbott Laboratories, as well as the boards of Catholic Charities, the Joyce Foundation, Economic Club of Chicago, and Misericordia Home.

Prior to returning to Kellogg to serve as its dean from 2010 to 2018, Blount served as dean at the NYU Stern College of Business from 2004-2010 and on faculty at NYU (2001-2010) and the Booth School of Business at the University of Chicago (1992-2001). Blount earned M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from Northwestern University and a B.S.E. from Princeton University, and began her career as an associate at the Boston Consulting Group.