Sally Jewell, U.S. Secretary of the Interior under President Barack Obama and former CEO of REI, has been appointed as the Edward V. Fritzky Endowed Chair in Leadership at the UW Foster School of Business for the 2021-2022 school year. Established in 2002, this prestigious faculty position is designed to bring distinguished leaders to campus to share their expertise with faculty and students.
Jewell is currently on the boards of Costco, Symetra Financial, Green Diamond Resource Company and The Nature Conservancy, where she recently served as Interim CEO. She brings decades of experience in business, nonprofits and government to the Foster School.
“When announcing Sally as his nominee, President Obama said, ‘She knows that there’s no contradiction between being good stewards of the land and our economic progress.’ Sally’s dedication to being a conscientious leader aligns with our purpose to better humanity through business and really resonates with today’s business school students,” says Frank Hodge, dean of the Foster School. “I am delighted she will bring her passion for sustainability and her proven skills as a business leader to Foster.”
During her time as President and CEO of REI from 2005 to 2013, the outdoor retailer more than tripled sales to $1.9 billion while repaying all long-term debt and was named to FORTUNE Magazine’s “100 Best Companies to Work For in the U.S.,” achieving top-ten ranking three times in 2006, 2011 and 2012. Prior to REI, Jewell spent nineteen years in the banking industry in a variety of executive roles, preceded by her early career as an engineer in the energy sector.
In addition to her success in business, Jewell’s leadership and service has benefitted numerous non-profit and civic organizations, including her alma mater where she served for 12 years as a Regent of the University of Washington and currently acts as chair of the advisory council for EarthLab, a university-wide institute that connects scholars with community partners to solve our most difficult environmental problems.
Jewell’s positive impact has been recognized with numerous awards and honors including the National Parks Conservation Association’s Winks Award for Public Service, the Woodrow Wilson Award for Public Service, the National Audubon Society’s Rachel Carson Award, and the National Association for Corporate Directors Director of the Year Award for her non-profit service.
“I am delighted to serve as the Fritzky Chair in Leadership at the UW Foster School of Business at this time of increasing awareness of the challenges and inequities of climate change, and the role of business in shaping solutions,” said Jewell. “I look forward to working with students, faculty, staff and businesses on shaping a future where business innovation can be unlocked in service to our shared planet.”
The Edward V. Fritzky Endowed Chair in Leadership was established in 2002 by Amgen Inc. as a gift honoring the career of Edward Fritzky, retired chairman, president and CEO of Immunex. Previous Fritzky Chairs include: Chris Petersen, former head football coach at the UW and Boise State University; Charles M. Pigott, former chairman of PACCAR Inc; Howard Behar, former president of Starbucks North America; Dorrit Bern, former CEO of Charming Shoppes; and Paula and Steve Reynolds, former CEOs of Safeco and Puget Sound Energy, respectively.