Director, Baumhart Center

Karen Weigert

Karen Weigert is director of the Baumhart Center, an interdisciplinary center that equips leaders with the business tools to accelerate social impact. The center is home to the Baumhart Scholars MBA, a highly selective program that prepares working professionals to marry profit and purpose in their careers. She is also an executive lecturer in the Department of Management.

Weigert has a strong track record within all sectors—government, business, and nonprofit—and an unwavering commitment to driving social change through cross-sectoral collaboration and skill building.

Among her past roles are serving as the first-ever chief sustainability officer for the City of Chicago, a strategy consultant at McKinsey, a documentary film writer and producer of Carbon Nation, and an executive leader at Slipstream, which is a nonprofit dedicated to accelerating climate solutions for everyone. She also is a founding board member of ecountabl, a B Corp that connects consumers to brands that share their values, and a board member of the U.S. Green Building Council, which promotes sustainability through its LEED building certification.

Within higher education, she served as the sustainability executive in residence at the University of Chicago’s Rustandy Center for Social Sector Innovation and an adjunct professor for sustainability strategy in organizations for Northwestern University’s McCormick School of Engineering.

Her thought leadership has been featured by CBS This Morning, Chicago Tonight, the Wall Street Journal, Chicago Tribune, and Crain’s Chicago Business. She is also the regular sustainability contributor for WBEZ’s flagship show, Reset.


  • BA, University of Notre Dame 
  • MBA, Harvard Business School

Career Highlights  

  • Former Chief Sustainability Officer for Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel 
  • Former Executive Vice President, Slipstream  
  • Former Senior Fellow, Chicago Council on Global Affairs 
  • Former triple bottom line banking executive 
  • Co-founded Chicago Women and Green and Greencorps  
  • McKinsey & Company alumna

Professional & Community Affiliations 

  • Board of Directors, U.S. Green Building Council 
  • Founding Board Member, ecountabl