Dr. Carolyn Yauyan Woo
President & CEO, Catholic Relief Services
Dr. Carolyn Y. Woo is President & CEO of Catholic Relief Services, the official international humanitarian agency of the Catholic community in the United States. She came to CRS in January 2012 after a distinguished academic career.
CRS was founded in 1943 by the Catholic bishops of the United States to serve survivors of World War II in Europe. Since then, it has become one of the world's largest and most respected international relief and development agencies, reaching 85 million people in more than 100 countries.
Dr. Woo, representing CRS, was featured in Foreign Policy magazine (May/June, 2013) as one of the 500 most powerful people on the planet and one of only 33 in the category of "a force for good." Dr. Woo's Catholic News Service monthly column took first place in the 2013 Catholic Press Association Awards in the category of "Best Regular Column—Spiritual Life." Before coming to CRS, Dr. Woo served from 1997 to 2011 as dean of the University of Notre Dame's Mendoza College of Business. During Dr. Woo's tenure, the Mendoza College was frequently recognized as the nation's leading business school in ethics education and research, and received top ranking in 2010 and 2011 for its undergraduate business program from Bloomberg Businessweek magazine. Prior to the University of Notre Dame, Dr. Woo served as associate executive vice president for academic affairs at Purdue University.
Dr. Woo was born and raised in Hong Kong. She was educated by the Maryknoll Sisters and immigrated to the United States to attend Purdue University, where she received her B.S., M.S. in industrial administration and Ph.D. degrees, and became a member of the faculty. Her teaching, research and administrative leadership have been recognized through Best Paper Awards by the Academy of Management; selection as one of 40 Young Leaders of American Academe by Change magazine, the journal of the American Association for Higher Education; distinguished alumna and honorary alumna by Purdue University and University of Notre Dame, as well as by the conferral of honorary doctorates from institutions including Providence College, University of St. Francis, University of Notre Dame, Carroll College, Loyola University of Maryland, Manhattan College, Notre Dame of Maryland University, Wake Forest University, Saint Vincent College, University of St. Thomas (Houston, Minneapolis) as well as the University of Notre Dame Australia. Dr. Woo's contribution to the Catholic Church is also recognized by the conferral of the Christus Magister award by the University of Portland and the Cardinal Joseph Bernardin Award by the Common Ground Initiative. She was the first female dean to chair the accreditation body for business schools—Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, or AACSB, and directed its Peace through Commerce initiative.
From 2004 to 2010, Dr. Woo served on the Board of Directors of Catholic Relief Services. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Aileron Foundation; Catholic Benefits Association; the Board of Regents, Catholic University of America; the Board of Governors, University of Notre Dame Australia; Archdiocese of Baltimore Independent Child Abuse Review Board; Executive Council on Development of the Center for Strategic and International Studies; Migration & Refugee Services, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops; and the International Policy Committee, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. She also served on the Board of Governors, Center for Creative Leadership; Board of Regents, Portland University; Board of Trustees, Catholic Charities USA; and the Executive Committee of the Fuel Up to Play 60 advisory board, sponsored by the National Football League and the National Dairy Council. She helped launch the Principles for Responsible Management Education for the United Nations Global Compact program and the Diversity Advisory Committee of KPMG.
Dr. 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, published in 2015 by Our Sunday Visitor.
Dr. Woo is married to Dr. David E. Bartkus. They have two sons, Ryan and Justin.