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Karen Weigert


Baumhart Center

Karen Weigert is the director of the Baumhart Center, an interdisciplinary center that equips leaders with the business tools to accelerate social impact. The center is home to the Baumhart Scholars MBA, a highly selective program that prepares working professionals to marry profit and purpose in their careers. She will also be an executive lecturer in the Department of Management.

Weigert has a strong track record within all sectors—government, business, and nonprofit—and an unwavering commitment to driving social change through cross-sectoral collaboration and skill building.

Among her past roles are serving as the first-ever chief sustainability officer for the City of Chicago, where she led the planning and delivery of the award-winning Sustainable Chicago Action Agenda. This work included launching Retrofit Chicago which now serves over 100 buildings representing over 50 million square feet and the Energy Benchmarking ordinance which requires benchmarking, verification, and transparency on energy use in large buildings; buildings covered by the ordinance have saved over $60 million in energy costs. Karen’s previous roles have included working as a strategy consultant at McKinsey, a documentary film writer and producer of Carbon Nation, and an executive leader at Slipstream, which is a nonprofit dedicated to accelerating climate solutions for everyone. She is also a founding board member of ecountabl, a B Corp that connects consumers to brands that share their values, and a board member of the U.S. Green Building Council, which promotes sustainability through its LEED building certification.

Within higher education, she served as the sustainability executive in residence at the University of Chicago’s Rustandy Center for Social Sector Innovation and an adjunct professor for sustainability strategy in organizations for Northwestern University’s McCormick School of Engineering.

Her thought leadership has been featured by CBS This Morning, Chicago Tonight, the Wall Street Journal, Chicago Tribune, and Crain’s Chicago Business. She is also the regular sustainability contributor for WBEZ’s flagship show, Reset.