Catholic University of America Professor to receive 2009 Novak Award


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., Feb. 9, 2009 – Maltese-American professor, Dr. Andrew Abela, is the winner of the Acton Institute’s 2009 Novak Award.

Dr. Abela received his Ph.D. in Management with concentrations in marketing and business ethics from the University of Virginia, Darden Business School in 2003 and an MBA from the Institute for Management Development in Lausanne, Switzerland. He is an Associate Professor of Marketing and Chair-elect of the Department of Business and Economics at the Catholic University of America in Washington, DC. He also has extensive professional experience, including most recently as the Managing Director at the Marketing Leadership Council, a research program serving Chief Marketing Officers of leading global firms. Dr. Abela also spent several years with the consulting firm of McKinsey & Company, and was a brand manager with Procter & Gamble.

Dr. Abela’s main research areas include consumerism, marketing ethics, Catholic Social Teaching, and internal marketing communication. Believing that anti-free market perspectives seem to dominate discussion about the social impact of business, Dr. Abela is working to explore Christian ethics further to show how these issues can be resolved more humanely and effectively through market-oriented approaches. To aid this work, Dr. Abela is currently preparing a catechism for business leaders, which will address tough ethical questions in business in the light of Christian social ethics.

A frequent guest on television and radio programs, Dr. Abela has recently addressed such issues as the moral underpinnings of the current financial crisis and ethics in advertising. Dr. Abela is also widely published in refereed academic and professional journals, including The Journal of Marketing, The Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, and The Journal of Markets & Morality.

Named after distinguished American theologian and social philosopher Michael Novak, the Novak Award rewards new outstanding research by scholars early in their academic careers who demonstrate outstanding intellectual merit in advancing the understanding of theology's connection to human dignity, the importance of limited government, religious liberty, and economic freedom. Recipients of the Novak Award make a formal presentation on such questions at an annual public forum known as the Calihan Lecture. The Novak Award comes with a $10,000 prize.

The Novak Award forms part of a range of scholarships, travel grants, and awards available from the Acton Institute that support future religious and intellectual leaders who wish to study the essential relationship between theology, the free market, economic liberty, and the importance of the rule of law. Details of these scholarships may be found at www.acton.org/programs/students/.

About the Acton Institute
With its commitment to pursue a society that is free and virtuous, the Acton Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty is a leading voice in the national environmental and social policy debate. The Acton Institute is uniquely positioned to comment on the sound economic and moral foundations necessary to sustain humane environmental and social policies.

The Acton Institute is a nonprofit, ecumenical think tank located in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The Institute works internationally to "promote a free and virtuous society characterized by individual liberty and sustained by religious principles." For more on the Acton Institute, please visit www.acton.org.

Interviews with Institute staff may be arranged by contacting John Couretas at (616) 454-3080 or at jcouretas@acton.org.