Laurence J. O’Connell, Ph.D., S.T.D.

Laurence J. O’Connell, Ph.D., S.T.D. is president and chief executive officer of the Ministry Leadership Center and president of Amarna Consulting, LLC.  He formerly held the position of president and chief executive officer of the Park Ridge Center, a bioethics research institute in Chicago, while concurrently serving as the Chief Ethics Officer of Advocate Aurora Health system and Clinical Professor at Stritch School of Medicine, Loyola University.  He has also been a member of the Board of Trustees of the Catholic Health Association of the United States (2011- 2017) and earlier held the positions of Vice President of the Catholic Health Association of the United States (1995 -1990) and Departmental Chairman and Professor at St. Louis University. During the Clinton administration, he served at the White House as a member of the President’s Health Care Task Force.

Dr. O’Connell has been a board member of numerous organizations in Europe and the United States and consultant to some of the largest philanthropic Foundations in the Americas. He has lectured widely, both in the United States and abroad, and has published over one hundred articles, reviews, and books published in English, Italian, French, and German.  Dr. O’Connell has served as a consultant/board member for a wide range of health-related institutions and associations, including Catholic Health East, SSM Health System, American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine, National Institutes of Health, International Association of Law, Ethics, and Science, The Cleveland Clinic, The American College of Cardiology, and  the Alzheimer’s and Related Disorders Association,among others.

Along with co-recipient Prof. Paul Ricoeur, he received the Golden Eurydice Award, given in recognition “of persistent work in organizing structures of bioethical debate and exceptional contributions to the understanding of sound ethical reasoning,” awarded by the Danish Minister of Health at the Danish Parliament in 1996. He has also served as the Honorary Consul General of the Republic of Turkey at Sacramento, California.  Dr. O’Connell is married to Sedef Gunel-O’Connell.  They have three adult children.

Person 2:  Kate

Kathryn (Kate) Racine serves as a Principal and Vice President of MLC where she works at the intersection of two distinct worlds: social science and mission. In her role at MLC she uses an array of social science methods to help values-based organizations clarify and strengthen their impact. Prior to joining MLC in 2012, Kate was Founder/Owner of B-Line, a triple-bottom line business in Portland, Oregon focused on sustainability and featured in Time Magazine and the New York Times.  She also has worked extensively in Catholic higher education where she advanced community-based learning, spiritual formation, and mission integration initiatives.  

Kate has spent extensive time abroad including working with former child prostitutes in Thailand, teaching English in rural Japan, and traveling over 10,000 miles by bicycle through Asia, the Middle East, and Europe.  All of these experiences have profoundly shaped her worldview, her commitment to social justice, and her love of contemplative wisdom traditions that sustain meaningful action in the world.  She has an undergraduate degree in Neuroscience from Bowdoin College, a Master of Divinity degree from the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley and trained as a spiritual director with the Sisters of Mercy at Mercy Center in Burlingame, CA.

Kate joined the Ministry Leadership Center in 2012, drawn to the intersection of values-based leadership, spirituality, and the Center’s efforts to sustain and advance the unique character and contribution of Catholic ministries.