BY CHRIS KERR | November 4, 2013
I had the chance to catch up with author Chris Lowney to chat about his newest book, Pope Francis: Why He Leads the Way He Leads. Lowney is the author of three other books (Heroic Leadership: Best Practices from a 450-Year-Old Company That Changed the World, Heroic Living: Discover Your Purpose and Change the World, and A Vanished World: Muslims, Christians, and Jews in Medieval Spain) and is a well-known speaker on topics including on leadership, business ethics, decision-making and the potential of “Jesuit networking.” His life journey has included associations with two well-known “companies” – the Society of Jesus and J.P. Morgan Chase. Lowney entered the Jesuit seminary and progressed through the thorough formation process until 1983, when he discerned that religious life was not his vocation. He began working with with J.P. Morgan & Co. where he held the title of Managing Director on three different continents until 2001. Currently, in addition to his writing and speaking, he serves as board chair of Catholic Health Initiatives, one of the nation’s largest healthcare/hospital systems with some $19 billion in assets.
Lowney also served as volunteer founding president of Jesuit Commons, an innovative collaboration which offers online university education in refugee camps in Africa and elsewhere. He conceived and co-founded Contemplative Leaders in Action, an emerging leader formation program now active in a half-dozen cities. He founded Pilgrimage for Our Children’s Future, which funds education and healthcare projects in the developing world: to learn about or support that organization, visit www.pocf.org.
Chris joined the Ignatian Solidarity Network (ISN) as executive director in 2011. He has over fifteen years of experience in social justice advocacy and leadership in Catholic education and ministry. Prior to ISN he served in multiple roles at John Carroll University, including coordinating international immersion experience and social justice education programming as an inaugural co-director of John Carroll’s Arrupe Scholars Program for Social Action. Prior to his time at John Carroll he served as a teacher and administrator at the elementary and secondary levels in Catholic Diocese of Cleveland. Chris speaks regularly at campuses and parishes about social justice education and advocacy, Jesuit mission, and a broad range of social justice issues. He currently serves on the board of directors for Christians for Peace in El Salvador (CRISPAZ). Chris earned a B.A. and M.A. from John Carroll University in University Heights, Ohio. He and his family reside in Shaker Heights, Ohio.