Nov 12019

Audrey Williams-Lee Joins Board at Chicago Theological Seminary

CHICAGO- October 28, 2019 – Chicago Theological Seminary (CTS) is pleased to welcome Audrey Williams-Lee, SVP Human Resources, Talent Acquisition & Philanthropy at Hyatt Hotels Corporation, to its Board of Trustees.

“My focus on making a difference through serving others and belief that we are called to put our faith into action align well with the CTS commitment statements,” Williams-Lee offers. “Particularly, the commitment to challenge the structures that sustain poverty and economic disenfranchisement, the joyous embracing of religious diversity to advance understanding and collaboration, and proclaiming a message of divine purpose, compassion, and promise all speak to me.”

“We are so pleased to have Audrey joining the CTS Board,” Board Chair Brian Clarke states. “Audrey’s business acumen and experience, mission-driven lifestyle and deep appreciation for the Vision and Commitments of the Seminary will allow her to contribute from day one. Her work in the private sector with companies the caliber of McDonald’s and Hyatt—along with previous not-for-profit efforts will provide the Board with a unique and diverse set of views and experiences—well suited to help move the Seminary forward.”

Growing up surrounded by the challenges of poverty led Williams-Lee to a growing awareness of inequality and a desire to somehow help.

“Over the years, there has been a convergence of my desire to address social issues and my faith. As I have grown as a Christian, I recognize the importance of meeting people where they are and addressing their spiritual, emotional and physical needs. This includes addressing societal inequities that often underpin issues such as poverty and violence. Further, I have a strong interest in inter-faith dialogue and using the common ground we have as believers to advance peace through understanding. So I was drawn to the mission and commitments of CTS, especially to social justice and interreligious understanding.  As a Trustee, this alignment will allow me to support and engage the Seminary in continually making the commitments a reality.”

Williams-Lee articulates a passion for building organizational excellence through strategic talent management, leadership development, culture and change. Her experience encompasses serving as a HR leader and advisor for C-suite executives and their leadership teams, community engagement, and setting and directing strategies for philanthropic giving. She has worked across several industries, holding Human Resources roles at Unilever, McDonald’s and W.W. Grainger. On the nonprofit side, she was the CHRO for Opportunity International.

Williams-Lee received her bachelor of science degree in Industrial Engineering from Northwestern University and her master of science in Management & Organizational Behavior from Benedictine University. She serves on the board of directors for Youth Guidance in Chicago, Illinois and on Northwestern University’s IEMS Advisory Board.  She is also a member of Northwestern University’s Council of One Hundred.