Dominican Sr. Patricia Daly, advocate for socially responsible investing, dies at 66

January 9, 2023

Sr. Patricia Daly, a Dominican Sister of Caldwell, New Jersey, for 47 years and a pioneer of corporate responsibility and socially responsible investing, died Dec. 9, 2022. She was 66 years old.

In her decades of advocacy, she worked to hold corporations responsible for environmental degradation, human rights abuses and myriad other issues. Colleagues and friends describe her as fearless and tireless in her efforts, becoming a force in socially responsible investing and waging campaigns through shareholder resolutions, appearances at company annual meetings, and dialogues with corporate chieftains to hold them accountable for their companies’ actions.

“She was an incredible bridge-builder, and she held the respect of many CEOs,” said Sr. Patricia Siemen, North American coordinator for the Dominican Sisters International Confederation and former prioress of the Adrian Dominicans. “She never entered with an attitude of disrespect or trying to prove them wrong. The resolutions were crafted toward solutions, not diatribes. Even though they knew they would be called on the carpet by Pat, they were grateful it was her, and she raised a lot of consciousness among CEOs. She never had a vendetta against them. She just called them into accountability for their corporations.”

Daly’s “decades of work to hold companies accountable for their impacts on people and creation is the stuff of legends,” the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility said in a Dec. 10 statement. Daly and Capuchin Fr. Michael Crosby received the center’s 2017 Legacy Award, which honors those “whose work has provided a strong moral foundation and an enduring record of demonstrated influence on corporate policies,” according to the organization.

The center’s statement quoted Tom Fanning, president and CEO of utility company Southern Company, who called Daly “a dear friend and a powerful partner in helping shape sound policy for the environment. Her intellect, her sharp wit, and caring demeanor served to quickly create an encouraging, common concern for the health of the earth for all her constituents.”

Bill Ford, executive chair of Ford Motor Company, said Daly “was committed to making the world a better place, and she did just that.”

“Sister Pat’s pioneering work in environmental and social responsibility continues to inspire me,” Ford said in a Dec. 13 statement sent to Global Sisters Report. “She was dedicated to keeping the well-being of our planet and the best interests of people at the forefront of issues that American companies and citizens are working to resolve. She was always positive but insistent upon progress and became a friend and advisor to me.”

Read the full story by Gail DeGeorge on Global Sisters Report