June 13, 2016, River Forest, Illinois – Sister Donna Markham, OP, PhD, first woman President and CEO of Catholic Charities USA, received an honorary doctorate from Dominican University, River Forest, Illinois, during the University’s Spring Commencement exercises. Dominican University was founded in 1901 by the Sinsinawa Dominican Sisters.
Sister Donna Markham, left, with Dominican University President Donna M. Carroll. Photo Courtesy of Dominican University
A certified clinical psychologist, Sister Donna has held leadership positions in mental health agencies: the Behavioral Health Institute for Mercy Health, serving Ohio and Kentucky, and Southdown Institute, based in Ontario, Canada, and offering residential treatment for clergy and religious.
Sister Donna, Prioress of the Adrian Dominican Congregation from 2004 to 2010, received this special recognition “for her strong leadership and efforts to bring dignity, hope, and compassion to the most marginalized members of society.”
Sister Donna, for her part, noted her own sense of humility in receiving the award, especially at the time when the Church’s Year of Mercy coincides with the 800th anniversary of the Order of Preachers, Dominicans. She presented the 2016 graduates with eight words to accompany them into their future.
October 25, 2015, New York City, New York – The Wall Street Journal interviewed Sister Donna Markham, OP – former Prioress of the Adrian Dominican Sisters and the first female President and CEO of Catholic Charities USA. The interview touches on an array of topics, including Sister Donna’s vision for Catholic Charities, funding and legislative challenges, female leadership within the Catholic Church, and Pope Francis’ recent visit to the United States. Read The Wall Street Journal’s article by Melanie West.
Recently, Sister Donna Markham was also one of three panel participants at an October 22 discussion at Georgetown University. The panel discussion, titled “Women Taking the Lead: Acting on Pope Francis’ Message,” included Sister Donna Markham along with Carolyn Woo, President of Catholic Relief Services, and Sister Carol Keehan, a Daughter of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul, who heads the Catholic Health Association. Sister Donna Markham spoke to female leadership and the importance of collaboration. Read Mark Zimmermann’s article in the Catholic Standard.