Kathleen McLaughlin, 48, has been named president of the Walmart Foundation, effective Oct. 15, according to a statement issued Monday by Wal-Mart Stores Inc.
In addition to leading corporate giving, she will have responsibility for the company’s global sustainability, women’s economic empowerment and healthier food initiatives. McLaughlin, previously a senior partner at global consulting firm McKinsey & Company, is a dual American-Canadian citizen and was based in Toronto.
“At Walmart we feel a responsibility to lead on some of the biggest global challenges of our time,” Mike Duke, president and CEO of Wal-Mart Stores, said in the statement. “We are using the size, scale and strengths of our business to make a positive impact in these areas and the Walmart Foundation plays a major strategic role in making this model work. Kathleen has a personal passion for making a difference on social issues and the business expertise to help successfully develop and implement real, long-term solutions.”
McLaughlin most recently led McKinsey’s Social Innovation Practice, where she worked with a range of businesses, NGOs and development agencies worldwide. Examples of her work in this area include: developing strategy and revamping the operating models of major foundations and development organizations; enhancing sustainability of the food chain working with a global consortium of food growers, manufacturers, distributors and retailers on issues such as access to market for small growers and seafood sustainability; and improving delivery of maternal and HIV/AIDS health care in Africa, working with international donors, local governments and NGOs.
McLaughlin also has deep experience in retail, having led more than 75 engagements with retail clients around the world. Specific areas of focus include international strategy, category management, operational efficiency, pricing/promotions, digital marketing, format renewal and post-merger management.
“Kathleen has been at the forefront of innovative public-private partnerships that drive development in some of the poorest parts of the world,” said Dan Bartlett, executive vice president of Walmart Corporate Affairs. “She has also worked closely with grocers, department stores, drugstore chains and other retailers to improve their business strategy and overall performance. It is this rare combination of knowledge and experience that will enable her to have a unique impact on our business and on the communities we serve around the world.”
McLaughlin also recently completed 10 years of service on the board of the Toronto Community Foundation, including chairing the Community Initiatives Committee that oversaw initiatives and grant-making to Toronto NGOs addressing poverty, hunger, housing and immigrant integration issues.
She, her husband Tim Costigan and their three children will relocate to northwest Arkansas.