In June, Carolyn Y. Woo, Martin J. Gillen Dean of the Mendoza College, announced her decision to accept a new position as CEO of Catholic Relief Services (CRS) as of Jan. 1, 2012.
The College’s leader since 1997, Woo said the decision was difficult both personally and professionally.
“What I have here is a true family of colleagues and alums. We have all shared the dream and the commitment to the Notre Dame mission for excellence and faith,” she wrote in announcing the decision to faculty and staff. “In fact, I think my days at Notre Dame have brought me to this point when I cannot ignore the blessings in my life. I need to give back as much as I can.”
As a CRS board member since 2004, Woo has traveled with the organization to crisis areas around the world, including Afghanistan, Pakistan and Indonesia. CRS is the official international humanitarian agency of the Catholic Church. With an annual budget exceeding $900 million, the organization employs 5,500 people serving in more than 100 countries.
She will become the seventh chief executive of the organization since it was founded in 1943, succeeding Ken Hackett, who is retiring after 18 years.
During Woo’s tenure as dean, the Mendoza College gained an international reputation for its focus on ethics and social responsibility, as well as for academic and program excellence. The College achieved numerous top 20 rankings, including the No. 1 spot for two years in a row in the Bloomberg Businessweek undergraduate survey and a No. 4 ranking of the Notre Dame MBA in Aspen Institute’s Beyond Grey Pinstripes. In December, the Notre Dame Alumni Association named Woo as an honorary alumna, a distinction bestowed on just 37 individuals in University history.
Associate Dean Roger Huang is serving as interim dean. A committee chaired by the provost and composed of Mendoza College faculty and a student representative is working with an outside consultant in the search for a new dean.