The Professions and the Common Good

Can I be professionally successful while making a difference?

A senior Wall Street executive founds the Financial Hippocratic Oath movement, which seeks higher ethical standards in finance. A pediatric anesthesiologist has spent much of his career in the arena of international health service as he aspires to fulfill a challenge of his undergraduate professor to “do something for someone else that will make a difference.” A young entrepreneur directs a hybrid social venture that seeks to improve access to quality education in rural Cambodia. A judge and professor has worked for decades to better the welfare of children.

These professionals have made choices based on their desire to contribute to the common good. Join them and others to learn how their concern for the common good has influenced their professional lives.


The Discussion


Lee Svete

As director of the University’s Career Center for the past 11 years, Lee Svete has been an invaluable guide to thousands of graduates pursuing their own vocations. Under his guidance, the Career Center had been ranked second in the nation by Princeton Review (2007) and ranked #1 in BusinessWeek magazine (2010) with an A+ grade for placement for providing innovative career services to college students. Since arriving at Notre Dame in July 1999, Svete and his staff at the Notre Dame Career Center improved the number and prestige of student placements across the university, both in internships and jobs.


Judge Kathleen A. Kearney

Judge Kearney is a clinical professor and researcher with the Children and Family Research Center (CFRC) of the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and a child welfare consultant in Tallahassee, Florida. She is the principal investigator for the evaluation of the expansion of performance based contracting to residential, independent, and transitional living programs in the State of Illinois funded by the National Quality Improvement Center on the Privatization of Child Welfare Services (QIC PCW). She also serves on the evaluation team on the implementation of differential response in Illinois funded by the National Quality Improvement Center on Differential Response in Child Protective Services. She served for three years as a member of the faculty of the Florida State University College of Social Work where she taught doctoral and master’s level courses in social welfare policy, advanced social services administration, legislative advocacy, child welfare practice, legal aspects of social welfare policy, and a seminar in advanced social work practice. She was named the College’s “Professor of the Year” for each of the academic years in which she taught at FSU.

Prior to joining the faculty at Florida State in 2002, she served as the Secretary of Florida’s Department of Children and Families. Appointed in January 1999, after serving over ten years as a county and circuit court judge in Fort Lauderdale, she was the first woman and the first judge to hold the position of Secretary. The Department of Children and Families (DCF), with more than 25,000 employees at the time, is the agency responsible for the oversight and management of the child welfare system, aging and adult services, child care licensing, economic self-sufficiency (TANF, Food Stamps, and Medicaid eligibility), refugee services, domestic violence (VAWA), and mental health and substance abuse services. During her tenure as Secretary, DCF also was responsible for the developmental disabilities program.

Judge Kearney served as the primary consultant for the United States Department of Defense Task Force in Care for Victims of Sexual Assault. She lectures nationally on child welfare, sexual assault, social services leadership and professional development. She has testified before Congress, at their request, on six occasions concerning critical human services policy issues.

Judge Kearney earned her Juris Doctor degree from the University of Notre Dame in 1980. She graduated magna cum laude in 1977 from Saint Mary’s College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in both history and political science, and holds a Certificate in Soviet and Eastern European Studies from the University of Notre Dame, which was conferred that same year. She received an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Saint Thomas University, Miami in 1998 for her work on behalf of Florida’s children and families.

Terrence R. Keeley

Terrence Keeley—author, public speaker, and financier—worked for UBS’ investment banking and asset management subsidiaries in a variety of managerial posts from 1988 to 2010, operating out of London, New York, and Chicago. From 1994 until July 2010, Keeley was a senior managing director with relationship oversight responsibilities for central bank and sovereign clients globally. As one of the bank’s senior marketing officers, he was responsible for all transactional correspondence, credit exposures, debt underwritings/restructurings, and advisory efforts with hundreds of multilateral organizations, ministries of finance, central banks, and sovereign wealth funds, generating average annual revenues of $600mm. During the execution of these responsibilities, he developed trusted advisor status with many foreign finance officials. These include governors and deputy governors of dozens of central banks, senior officers of many sovereign wealth funds, and the executive staffs of the World Bank, International Monetary Fund, United Nations, Asian Development Bank, African Development Bank, European Investment Bank, and the Bank for International Settlements.

Keeley received his undergraduate degree in philosophy and politics from the Univ. of Notre Dame summa cum laude. He did graduate studies in economics and history at Oxford Univ. (Christ Church) on scholarship. Oxford University Press published portions of his Ph.D. thesis at Oxford—"The Nature and Implications of Financial Innovation."

Keeley is the author of a number of academic articles, including “Financial Innovation and Social Benefit,” published by Oxford University Press (winner of the 1987 AMEX Bank Prize Essay) and “Reserve Management: A New Era,” published by the Journal of Central Banking. His regular contributions to the Financial Times include “Embarrassment of Riches,” “Myths About the Sovereign Menace to Treasuries,” “Central Bankers Return to Gold and Dollars,” and “Now—Let’s Stress Test the Central Banks.”

In July 2010, Keeley established his own sovereign advisory practice, Sovereign Trends, LLC. Sovereign Trends is an advisory firm for and about sovereign entities, including central banks, ministries of finance, multi-lateral institutions, sovereign wealth funds, public pension plans, and those who deal with them. Sovereign Trends’ core expertise includes optimal asset allocation, quantitative easing strategies (entering and exiting), communication strategy, staffing, training, debt management, risk management, and external manager selection. Keeley is also a founding director of the Financial Hippocratic Oath movement (, which seeks higher ethical standards in finance.

Daniela Papi

Daniela Papi is the director and founder of a hybrid social venture, PEPY working in rural Cambodia. PEPY’s tagline “Adventurous Living, Responsible Giving” highlights the dual mission of the organization: to offer tours that expose travelers to development issues and empower them to become more educated donors and to fund and implement development programs that improve access to quality education in rural Cambodia. Driven by a young group of social entrepreneurs, PEPY in the past five years has grown from a one-off bike ride that funded the construction of a rural school to working in over 10 schools and employing over 35 local staff. PEPY Tours has won the National Geographic Geotourism Challenge Award as well as Notre Dame’s Social Venture Business Plan Competition, among other honors. Papi, a graduate of the Univ. of Notre Dame, has lived and worked in Asia for the past eight years, and is currently based in Siem Reap, Cambodia.

Dr. Daniel J. Towle

Daniel J. Towle ’77, traces the roots of his medical career intersecting with Catholic social service to his early days as an anthropology major, specifically responding to a challenge laid out by Notre Dame professor Jim Bellis to “be more than just a doctor—do something for someone else that will make a difference.”

During his career as a pediatric anesthesiologist, Towle has remained engaged in the arena of international health service as he aspires to meet the challenge of Prof. Bellis. First traveling to Ghana in 1976 to construct schools and research herbal medicines with a program directly supported by Rev.Theodore M. Hesburgh, C.S.C., Towle later continued his efforts in Africa working on a malnutrition survey for the World Health Organization. He then continued international medical involvement by supporting the construction of a health clinic in Nepal and providing anesthetics in Honduras, Peru, and Bolivia for children suffering from disfiguring cleft palates, cleft lips, and traumatic burn injuries. During this time, he coordinated efforts to bring needed medical equipment and monitors to ill-equipped hospitals in the Americas.

Over the next 18 years, Towle and his wife, Christen, joined forces with Dr. Bellis to sponsor over 35 Notre Dame undergraduates who participated in summer service projects in Ghana, Kenya, and Lesotho supporting those afflicted by the ravages of poverty. In 2005, Towle founded the Touching Tiny Lives Foundation providing medical, shelter, educational, and nutritional care for HIV/AIDS impacted children in Lesotho.

Most recently, Towle has been a part of the relief efforts in Haiti—arriving only days after the earthquake to set up three emergency operating rooms in the bedrooms of a collapsed nursing school dormitory. He is now involved in efforts to reconstruct a Haitian hospital and coordinate a professional exchange program of patients and staff with his home hospital in Kansas City.

In 2007, Towle received the Dr. Thomas A. Dooley Award for service to mankind presented by the Univ. of Notre Dame, and in 2008, the Rev. Theodore M. Hesburgh Award from the Kansas City Notre Dame Club. Among various opportunities to assist those less fortunate, Towle considers the most special blessing to be his wife of 28 years, Christen, and their four children: Meg ’07, Lauren SMC ’08, Brian ’10, and Kevin ’12.