Speakers 2017-07-07T11:56:38+00:00

Keynote Speakers

Father Arturo Sosa, S.J. will join WUJA 2017 via live teleconference on Thursday, June 29 at 2 pm. 

Rev. Gregory J. Boyle, S.J.
Fr. Greg Boyle is the founder and executive director of Homeboy Industries. From 1986 to 1992, Boyle was pastor of Dolores Mission Church in Los Angeles, at the time the poorest Catholic parish in the city, located near two large public housing projects and the territories of numerous gangs. In the wake of the 1992 Los Angeles riots, he and his community launched their first social enterprise business, Homeboy Bakery. In the ensuing years, the success of the bakery created the groundwork for additional social enterprise businesses that evolved into an independent nonprofit organization, Homeboy Industries. Today, Homeboy Industries employs and trains former gang members in a range of social enterprises, as well as provides critical services to over 10,000 men and women who walk through its doors every year seeking a better life.

In May, Boyle will receive the University of Notre Dame’s 2017 Laetare Medal — the oldest and most prestigious honor given to American Catholics.  A month later, he will be a keynote speaker at the WUJA 2017 Congress at John Carroll University.



Rev. Timothy P. Kesicki, S.J.
Father Timothy P. Kesicki, SJ, is the President of the Jesuit Conference of Canada and the United States. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., the Jesuit Conference promotes common goals and oversees international projects for the Society of Jesus. As Conference President, Fr. Kesicki works with the Jesuit Provincials of the United States and Canada in implementing programs, represents the Conference internationally and serves as the religious superior of the Boston College School of Theology and Ministry and the Jesuit School of Theology of Santa Clara University in Berkeley, California. He serves on the boards of Jesuit Refugee Service/USA and America Magazine.

Prior to leading the Jesuit Conference, Fr. Kesicki served from 2008 through 2014 as the Provincial of the Chicago-Detroit Province of the Society of Jesus.

A frequent contributor to CNN and MSNBC, Fr. Kesicki hails from Erie, Pennsylvania, where he attended local Catholic schools before earning a bachelor’s degree in political science from John Carroll University in Ohio.


Katherine Marshall is a sekatherinemarshallnior fellow at Georgetown University’s Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs, where she leads the Center’s program on Religion and Global Development, and is Professor of the Practice of Development, Conflict, and Religion. Marshall focused over a long career in international development as a World Bank officer where she worked in Africa, Latin America, and East Asia, most recently with a mandate to address ethics and values. She helped to create and now serves as the executive director of the World Faiths Development Dialogue.



Christopher Lowney
Chris Lowney chairs the board of Catholic Health Initiatives, one of the nation’s largest healthcare/hospital systems with some $19 billion in assets. He is a one-time Jesuit seminarian who later served as a Managing Director of J.P. Morgan & Co in New York, Tokyo, Singapore and London until leaving the firm in 2001. He is a popular keynote speaker who has lectured in more than two-dozen countries on leadership, business ethics, decision-making and other topics. He is the author of four books. Heroic Leadership, a #1 ranked bestseller of the CBPA, has been translated into eleven languages. He is also author of Heroic Living, and A Vanished World. His latest work, Pope Francis: Why He Leads the Way He Leads , has been called, “an invaluable gift”, and “a book for the ages.”




in and around Rome Feb 15, 2012.... (Christian Fuchs/Jesuit Refugee Service)

Rev. Peter Balleis, S.J., is the director of Jesuit Worldwide Learning – Higher Education at the Margins (JWL), a collaborative global initiative that provides certificate and diploma programs to those who live in refugee camps and in places where higher learning is out of reach. Originally from Bavaria, Germany, Fr. Balleis joined the Jesuits in 1981, and later began working at Jesuit Refugee Service, where he served as international director for eight years. It was there that Fr. Balleis developed many of Jesuit Worldwide Learning’s overseas sites, which are present in a number of countries including Malawi, Jordan and Afghanistan.




James Martin, S.J., is a Jesuit priest and author. On April 12, Pope Francis appointed Martin, America Magazine’s editor at large, as a consultor to the Vatican’s Secretariat for Communications. He has authored multiple books including Between Heaven and Mirth: Why Joy, Humor and Laughter are at the Heart of the Spiritual Life, and The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything. As for his comedy chops, he was the “Official Chaplain to the Colbert Nation.” Martin is scheduled to join WUJA 2017 via live teleconference on Friday, June 30 at 2 pm.

Session Leaders by Topic

Special Sessions/Panels/Events/Other

Caitlin Huey-Burns (RealClearPolitics) – View Bio

Deanna Howes (AJCU) – View Bio

David Nantais (University of Detroit Mercy) – View Bio

Andrew Rafferty (NBC News) – Follow on Twitter

Patrick Vecellio (Oakland University) – View Bio

Daniel Villanueva, SJ – View Bio

Business TrackRead More

Barbara Brown (BrownFlynn) – View Bio

Adesina Buraimoh-Ademuyewo (Brands International Company Ltd.) – View Bio

Gerald F. Cavanagh, S.J. (University of Detroit Mercy) – View Bio

Tina Facca-Miess, Ph.D. (John Carroll University) – View Bio

Kirk Hanson (Santa Clara University) – View Bio

Terry Howard (University of Detroit Mercy) – View Bio

Mr. Kevin Kraver (Santa Clara University) – View Bio

William O’Rourke, Jr. (Beard Institute) – View Bio

Rev. Nicholas Santos, S.J. (Marquette University) – View Bio

Dr. James A.F. Stoner (Fordham University) – View Bio

Dr. Gregory Ulferts (University of Detroit Mercy) – View Bio

Education and The Arts TrackRead More

Rev. Donald Doll, S.J. (Creighton University)  – View Bio

Rev. Ryan Duns, S.J. (Boston College) – View Bio

Kate Gaertner (Marquette University, Executive Director of Alpha Sigma Nu) – View Bio

Rev. Michael Garanzini, S.J. (Loyola of Chicago) – Learn More

Rev. Patrick Kelly, S.J. (Seattle University) – View Bio

Dr. Linda LeMura (LeMoyne College) – View Bio

Rev. Daniel McDonald, S.J. (Midwest Jesuits) – View Bio

Rev. Jose Alberto Mesa, S.J. (Loyola University of Chicago, Secretary for Secondary and Pre-secondary Education for the Society of Jesus) – View Bio

Legal TrackRead More

John V. Biernacki (Jones Day) – View Bio

Hon. Michael P. Donnelly – View Bio

Sister Rita Mary Harwood (Diocese of Cleveland) – Learn More

Andrew F. Moore (University of Detroit-Mercy) – View Bio

Jeffrey H. Paravano (BakerHostetler) – View Bio 

Judge John J. Russo – View Bio

Spirituality and Frontiers TrackRead More

Rev. William J. Byron, S.J. (St. Joseph University) – View Bio

Suad and Abdikarim Mohamed (Jesuit Worldwide Learning: Higher Education at the Margins) – View Bios

Rev. Howard Gray, S.J. (Georgetown University) – View Bio

Rev. Daniel McDonald, S.J. (Midwest Jesuits) – Learn More

Timothy Muldoon (Boston College) – Learn More

Abigail Nokes (Global First Forum) – View Bio

Rev. Leo J. O’Donovan, S.J. (Jesuit Refugee Service-USA) – View Bio

Rev. Joseph O’Keefe, S.J. (Boston College) – View Bio

Dr. Ana Maria Pineda, R.S.M. (Santa Clara University) – View Bio

Irini de Saint Sernin – View Bio

Rev. Daniel Villanueva, S.J. (Entreculturas – Fe y Alegría foundation) – View Bio

Evolving Universe TrackRead More

John Grim (Yale University) – View Bio

Orla O’Reilly Hazra (St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai) – View Bio

Jennifer Morgan (Author) – View Bio

Prashant Olalekar, S.J. (St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai) – View Bio

Barry H. Rodrigue (University of Southern Maine) – View Bio

Mary Evelyn Tucker, Ph.D. (Yale University) – View Bio

Peter Whitehouse, Ph.D. – View Bio