Even before the riots of April 2015, Catholic Charities of Baltimore was one of the strongest providers of services for the needy in West Baltimore. Thanks to a new round of grants from private foundations and public sources, Executive Director Bill McCarthy said his organization can expand its work in Sandtown-Winchester and surrounding neighborhoods.
Tag: Catholic Charities
Recently named one of the “top 500 most important people on the planet” by Foreign Policy magazine, Carolyn Woo took the reins in 2012 as head of Catholic Relief Services, headquartered in Baltimore. As the official Catholic international humanitarian aid organization, (Catholic Charities is domestic) Catholic Relief Services has over 5,000 employees in 91 countries serving more than 100 million people annually. Its mission — based on need, without regard to race, nationality or religion — is to “promote human development by responding to major emergencies, fighting poverty, and nurturing peaceful and just societies.” With annual revenues of $823 million, CRS is currently 39th on the Forbes list of the largest U.S. charities. Its offices, at 228 W. Lexington Street, are in what was once Stewart’s department store.
Dr. Woo came to CRS from the University of Notre Dame (not to be confused with Notre Dame of Maryland University on Charles Street) where she served for 12 years as the Dean of the Mendoza College of Business. While there, she brought the undergraduate business school up to its current number one ranking (Bloomberg Businessweek) while maintaining its Catholic mission. Her expertise in the areas of corporate strategy, entrepreneurship, and management bring a new, more financially-based perspective to the enormous and far-reaching charity.
Dr. Woo has an interesting personal story as well. Born and raised in Hong Kong, she attended a Catholic school run by the Maryknoll Sisters, American nuns who devoted their lives to overseas service. Influenced by these women, she came to America against the wishes of her family, having raised on her own the money for one year of schooling. She attended Purdue University, where, after the first year, she won a scholarship for international students, and graduated with highest honors with an undergraduate degree in economics. She stayed on at Purdue to earn a masters degree and a Ph.D., as well.