Mentor, coach, author, speaker, and nonprofit executive are all labels that befit Katie Kross but what defines her is an underlying passion for sustainable enterprises and an unyielding desire to make a difference in the world around her.
Katie spent eight years in university administration, most recently as Managing Director of the Center for Energy Development and Global Environment (EDGE) at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business. Joining the University in 2009, Katie was charged with helping grow Fuqua’s MBA programming in Energy & Environment, as well as the MEM-MBA dual degree program. With Katie’s involvement, EDGE was launched in 2009 with the mission of identifying the most promising pathways toward a sustainable energy system and economy and working with leading firms to be a catalyst for innovation.
Prior to joining EDGE, Katie was the Executive Director of Kenan-Flagler Business School’s Center for Sustainable Enterprise (CSE) at The University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. As a key member of the Center’s start-up team, Katie managed the operations, finance and administration for CSE, which provides research, education, and outreach to advance the understanding and practice of socially and environmentally responsible business strategies. Under her leadership, the Center launched the CSE Consulting program, BASE (UNC Business Accelerator for Sustainable Entrepreneurship), and the Sustainable Enterprise Quarterly newsletter, and expanded the Sustainable Enterprise Career Fair.
As a career coach and student advisor, Katie has counseled hundreds of individual MBA students, many of whom have gone on to sustainability careers with employers like Disney, Walmart, GE, Bank of America, Progress Energy, Deloitte, and McKinsey, as well as social and environmental NGOs, mission-driven companies, and startups.
In 2009, Katie authored Profession and Purpose: A Resource Guide for MBA Careers in Sustainability. In keeping with her commitment to sustainability practices, Katie selected Greenleaf Publishing, a sustainable publishing house, to publish her first book. Katie is a regular contributor to other publications on topics related to careers in sustainability. A listing can be found on her website at www.professionandpurpose.com.
A sought-after speaker, Katie has presented to audiences at Yale, MIT-Sloan, UNC-Chapel Hill, Duke, North Carolina State and repeatedly at Net Impact’s Annual Conference. Before and after she speaks, she can often be found in the wings coaching attendees on their individual career plans.
Katie is actively involved in related professional organizations. Between 2005-07, she served as a Charter Board Member for the Triangle Professional Chapter of Net Impact. She has also served on the board of the U.S. Partnership for Education for Sustainable Development and the Davidson College Sustainability Council.
Recognized for her contributions to advancing sustainable practices, in 2007 Katie and the staff of the CSE Consulting Program were awarded a North Carolina Sustainability Award. Katie has also been recognized as a Distinguished Member of Net Impact.
Katie holds a Bachelors degree from Davidson College and an MBA from Kenan-Flagler Business School at the University of North Carolina.
Katie and her husband live in North Carolina with their two sons.
Articles and Interviews:
- Will “purpose” be the new mantra of business? Or just a buzzword? Nov. 12, 2010.
- “Green Business Jobs: Top 10 Job Search Resources”. Career Rocketeer blog, April 14, 2010.
- Quoted in the Acre 2010 Corporate Responsibility Salary Survey.
- Career opportunities for green MBAs: Generating green $$ from the green movement. MBA Podcaster, Episode 93.
- “How to Find a Good Green Job: Practical Tools for a Sustainable Business Job Search“. Net Impact “Issues in Depth” webinar, Feb. 12, 2010.