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Kathleen Bannan ’91

Kathleen Bannan and FamilyKathleen Bannan ’91 may have transferred to Syracuse University as a sophomore, but she still enjoyed a full college experience. “When I set foot on Syracuse’s campus, I knew I’d found a home, and I’m grateful for my time there and the opportunity to find myself,” she says.

To this day, Bannan thanks SU for giving her the tools to succeed. “SU has tremendous diversity in both the people and offerings. It’s wonderful that the students have a chance to excel in whatever interests them—not many places offer that opportunity,” she says. “Everything is possible, and you can create your own future.”

After earning her psychology degree from SU and her masters at Boston College, the future Bannan created for herself centered around social responsibility and sustainability. She held positions in the nonprofit sector, in health care advocacy and policy development at Ocean State Action, and worked at the Center for Corporate Citizenship on community involvement strategy.

In 2005, Bannan joined the McDonald’s Sustainability team (formerly Corporate Social Responsibility). As Director of Global Sustainability, she works to integrate social, economic, and environmental considerations into business strategy and plays a leading role in the company’s corporate social responsibility and sustainability performance measurement, reporting, and communications efforts. She also works with stakeholders and organizations in the socially responsible investment arena to elevate the company’s inclusion in investment indexes such as the prestigious Dow Jones Sustainability Index.

Bannan and her husband, Tom, live in Chicago with their three daughters—Mary Pat, Elizabeth, and Maggie. In the spirit of creating more opportunities for girls in athletics, they support SU’s women’s basketball program.

A member of SU’s Chicago Regional Council, Bannan is also happy to see SU building a greater presence in the Windy City. “My daughter attends St. Ignatius College Prep, and I see such a strong community of support for her there. I believe SU in Chicago can provide a similar resource for Syracuse University alumni in the area,” she says. “An ongoing relationship is important, and it’s great that we’re focusing on everything from the admissions process through alumni status.”