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Hendrickson Institute for Ethical Leadership Forum

Once a year, an internationally recognized speaker comes to the Twin Cities to engage Saint Mary’s faculty, staff, and students, and the local business community in conversation.

From global migration to microfinance, world-altering events to the new world order, Saint Mary’s University’s annual Hendrickson Forum is a venue for thought-provoking information and discussion. Also at the forum, a local leader receives the Hendrickson Institute Medal for Ethical Leadership and speaks briefly about their professional experiences.

2024 Keynote: Jon Clifton


  • Date: April 10 – 11 a.m., Registration and Networking; noon to 1:30 p.m., lunch with keynote speaker
  • Location: Saint Mary’s Event Center, 2540 Park Ave.
  • Parking: Complimentary valet parking is available, and free nearby parking is available off of Oakland Avenue.
  • Registration:Registration for the forum closed on March 27. Thank you for your interest.

Eliminating Our Blind Spots: Finding the Road to Happiness



Clifton will discuss his Wall Street Journal Best Seller, “Blind Spot: The Global Rise of Unhappiness and How Leaders Missed It.”

He explains that while leaders pay close attention to measures like GDP or unemployment, almost none of them track their citizens’ wellbeing and that the implications of this blind spot are significant and far-reaching.

Grounded in Gallup’s global research, “Blind Spot” makes the urgent case that leaders should measure and quantify wellbeing and happiness — how citizens’ lives are going — and shows them how. Learn the five key elements of a great life and where the world needs to improve in each of them to better the lives of people everywhere.

Jon Clifton

Jon Clifton serves as the CEO of the Gallup Organization, the global analytics and advisory firm. His mission is to connect 1 billion individuals with their unique strengths, assist organizations in fostering thriving workplaces, and help 8 billion of the world’s citizens be heard on their most pressing issues through the Gallup World Poll, a century-long project spanning over 150 countries. After joining Gallup in 2008, Clifton rose to the position of Global Managing Partner in the firm’s consulting division, leveraging behavioral economics to advise leaders.

His 2022 book, “Blind Spot: The Global Rise of Unhappiness”, achieved Wall Street Journal bestseller status. Clifton has also contributed to notable platforms like The Economist, BBC, and the Harvard Business Review. He holds a board position at Gallup and has formerly been a board member for entities such as Meridian International, Young Professionals in Foreign Policy, Streetwise Partners, and the University of Nebraska’s International Business Advisory Board.

Clifton has a Juris Doctor, specializing in international law, from the University of Nebraska, as well as bachelor’s degrees in political science and history from the University of Michigan. He holds a senior fellowship at Baylor University Institute for the Studies of Religion and has been recognized with honorary doctorates in humane letters by Midland University and Western New England University.

Hendrickson Medal for Ethical Leadership:

Mary Jo Copeland

Founder and Director of Sharing and Caring Hands

Mary Jo Copeland, a Minnesota native, founded Sharing and Caring Hands in Minneapolis in 1985 with a goal of serving those in need and showing them unconditional love by providing for their needs. The organization now provides clothing and food to 300 to 500 poor and marginalized people daily. Next door, she operates Mary’s Place, emergency shelter and transitional housing for homeless families with children. These 100 fully furnished apartments give hope, peace, safety, and stability to all who occupy them.

Copeland has a long commitment to helping the inner-city poor and less fortunate in our society. Her work provides an outstanding example of how we all can make a life-changing difference in the lives of others through volunteering and commitment. Copeland’s work has been recognized in Reader’s Digest, Good Housekeeping, People, and New York Times Magazine. Copeland also was named one of the most caring people in America by the Caring Institute of Washington, D.C., and she received the Norman Vincent Peale Unsung Hero Award, the David Prues Outstanding Leadership Award, the Pax Christi Award, and the Presidential Citizens Medal from President Barack Obama.

Past Keynote Speakers and Videos

  • David Brooks, bi-weekly op-ed columnist for the New York Times and regular analyst on PBS NewsHour and NPR’s All Things Considered, talked about his New York Times bestseller, “The Road to Character” — explaining why selflessness leads to greater success and describing how we can all strive to build rich inner lives, marked by humility and moral depth.

  • Jonathan Haidt, a social psychologist widely considered to be one of the world’s leading experts on the psychology of morality, specifically addressed the ethics of capitalism, which requires that we first understand why the left and the right disagree so sharply about what it is and what its effects are.

    No Video Available

  • Nicholas A. Christakis, M.D., Ph.D., M.P.H., director of Yale University’s Human Nature Lab and co-director of the Yale Institute for Network Science, addressed how certain kinds of social artificial intelligence (AI) might best be used to enhance our society.

  • Renowned journalist, Cokie Roberts, named a “Living Legend” by the Library of Congress (2008), is one of the most esteemed and brilliant broadcast journalists of our time.

  • International best-selling author and global consultant Jackie Freiberg is dedicated to helping companies and organizations foster work environments where innovation is a product of risk taking, facing failures and seizing opportunities, all while empowering employees to do their best work.

  • As The Economist’s editor-in-chief and former Washington editor, economics editor, and business affairs editor, Zanny Minton Beddoes delivers unmatched insights and global perspective on the various economic elements at work in presentations that are constantly evolving along with global economic conditions and circumstances.


  • Jon Huntsman, Jr., former Governor of Utah (2005–2009) and former United States Ambassador to China (2009–2011) presented “Global Leadership: Our Future with China.” Huntsman shared his keen insights behind modern news headlines—from China and the economy to business abroad, as well as intellectual property protection.

  • James Stavridis, former Supreme Allied Commander of NATO and Retired U.S. Navy Admiral,  presented “The Ethics of Cyber Security.” He brought to light how in our increasingly connected world, we digitally share more and more of our personal information, the security risks that brings, and what can be done at the business, national, and international levels to ensure our data security.

  • Sheila Bair, former chair of the FDIC, presented “Main Street vs. Wall Street and the New Financial Paradigm.” Named second most powerful woman in the world by Forbes, Bair challenged “too big to fail” institutions on behalf of “Main Street.” Bair addressed turning short-term gratification into long-term economic stability, producing value to generate meaningful economic gains, and looking toward global challenges.

  • Dr. Ian Bremmer, president, of Eurasia Group, presented “Rocking the World Order: How Changing Politics, Economics, and Geography Impact Us.” He addressed the seismic shifts taking place in the world order that affect the global economy and rise (and fall) of nations. He shared what experts track and also precautions people can take.

  • Sue Gardner, executive director of Wikimedia Foundation, presented “Why Wikipedia Matters.” With nearly half a billion readers at the time, Wikipedia’s regarded as the most popular encyclopedia in human history. Gardner discussed how Wikipedia has changed access to information and what the future might hold.

  • Jacqueline Novogratz, CEO of Acumen Fund, presented “Social Capitalism: An ‘App’ to Fight Poverty.” Novogratz reported on Acumen’s progress in addressing practical health, food, and business issues based on her extensive international experience. Her empowering approach brought about change in global aid and development in the U.S. and abroad.

  • Dr. Marcelo Suarez-Orozco, professor of globalization and education at New York University, presented “Global Migration: Best Practices for Business and Society in a Changing World.” At the time, one in every 35 people traveling via plane were working, living, or moving across national borders. Suarez-Orozco discussed modern migration and the profound implications for individuals, businesses, and society.

  • John Howard, former Prime Minister of Australia, presented “Leadership in a Global Economy.” Howard discussed the role of world leaders in a new century, events addressing the growing concerns of globalization and global economics, the environment, and threats to international security. He explained ways and the degrees to which China, India, and the Pacific Rim may participate.

  • John Micklethwait, editor-in-chief of The Economist, presented “Globalization and the Economy of the Future.” He provided a briefing on the world’s economy with commentary on globalization, where it’s headed, and opportunities for positive impact.

Hendrickson Medal for Ethical Leadership

  • 2023

    Alan Page, former Minnesota Viking and State Supreme Court Justice (retired)


    Tony Sanneh, decorated professional soccer player and local nonprofit founder


    Mary Jane Melendez, Chief sustainability and social impact officer for General Mills President of the General Mills Foundation.


    Brad Hewitt, former CEO of Thrivent Financial


    Rhoda Olsen, Vice chair of the Great Clips, Inc. Board of Directors


    Inge Thulin, Chairman of the Board, President, and Chief Executive Officer of 3M


    Mary Brainerd, president and CEO, HealthPartners


    Chris Policinski, president and CEO of Land O’Lakes


    Doug Baker, Jr., chair and CEO of Ecolab, Inc.


    Yvonne Cheung Ho, CEO of MEDA (retired)


    Richard Davis, president of U.S. Bancorp


    Dr. Eric J. Jolly, president of the Science Museum of Minnesota


    Charles Denny, president and CEO of ADC Telecommunications (retired)


    Warren and Mary Lynn Staley, CEO of Cargill (retired) and philanthropists


    Nominees for the award will be ethical leaders that reflect and have demonstrated the following principles noted in Doing Right in a Shrinking World by Brother Louis DeThomasis and Neal St. Anthony:

    • An attitude that embraces diversity, differences, and ambiguity;
    • An appreciation for the gift of globally diverse cultures including our own;
    • A creative imagination that leads not to change, but to transformation;
    • The language of stewardship and abundance that transcends ideology;
    • An acceptance of and enthusiasm for the positive integration of faith and finance;
    • An unwavering commitment to do good and to give more; and
    • Faith that the outcome of giving more is that we receive more for ourselves, and for all of humankind.

    Nominees should demonstrate one or more of the following:

    • Makes a significant contribution to the community
    • Employs ethical approaches that are innovative or creative, whether for a business or the community
    • Provides an example of an ethical decision that was in some way transformational for others (employees, customers, volunteers, the community) and the resources and influence used to accomplish this
    • Serves as a role model for young and emerging ethical leaders

    The medal may be presented to any individual who is an ethical business leader and lives in the 11-county Twin Cities metropolitan area (Anoka, Carver, Chisago, Dakota, Hennepin, Isanti, Ramsey, Scott, Sherburne, Washington, or Wright counties) or the three-county Winona area (Olmsted, Wabasha, or Winona counties).

    Those not eligible for this award include employees, current students, and those involved in governance, on a paid or volunteer basis, of Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota.

About the Hendrickson Institute


The Hendrickson Institute for Ethical Leadership is a center for excellence at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota for the formation of ethical leadership skills in our students and our community. By providing a forum for the exploration of ethical issues, the institute supports the university’s mission to “awaken, nurture, and empower learners to ethical lives of service and leadership.”

Through intense inquiry on issues of ethical leadership and by fostering personal relationships, the institute is a resource for our students and our communities to explore, examine, and discover the truths in the world around us and the character within each of us.

Hendrickson Forum Sponsors:


For information on sponsorship opportunities for the 2024 Hendrickson Forum, please contact Kevin Ebben, director for strategic partnerships, at 612-238-4573 or kebben@smumn.edu.