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Catherine Corbin named chief business innovation officer at St. Jude

Expert in human-centered design to lead new department focused on advancing strategic plan

Memphis, Tennessee, January 30, 2023

studio photo portrait of Catherine Corbin, chief business innovation officer, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

Catherine Corbin, chief innovation officer, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital has appointed Catherine Corbin as the institution’s first chief business innovation officer. She will partner with the CEO and other members of the institution’s senior leadership team to implement the $12.9 billion, six-year St. Jude strategic plan, the largest investment in the organization’s 60-year history to advance the study and treatment of pediatric cancer and other catastrophic diseases.

Corbin will build a multidisciplinary team of experts in organizational design, user experience and business strategy in her new role in the Office of Strategic Innovation and Design. Corbin’s group will partner with employees across the institution and enable innovative ways to execute the strategic plan, including how to most effectively use its nearly $3 billion for construction projects. The team is responsible for building creative problem-solving skill sets in employees and fostering a culture of innovation in the business realm of St. Jude.   

“Catherine’s creativity and vision will help bring our bold plan to life,” said James R. Downing, M.D., St. Jude president and CEO. “This new team’s efforts will help build the foundation for future generations of doctors, nurses, scientists and others who will advance our mission of finding cures and saving children.”

In her new role, Corbin will report to Downing and work collaboratively with Shari Capers, senior vice president of Strategic Planning and Decision Support, a team that crafts the strategic plan and oversees the organization’s blue-sky program that challenges faculty and staff to explore bold new ideas with the potential to transform science, medicine and the institution. 

“I’ve long admired and respected the mission of St. Jude and am excited to take on this new challenge,” said Corbin. “This position is the perfect nexus of my career experience in design, health care and business.”

Before joining the hospital and research institution, Corbin spent four years at IDEO, most recently as a partner and managing director of the Chicago studio. While there, she played key roles in helping St. Jude develop important strategic investments such as Family Commons, a first-of-its-kind environment for families and patients to relax outside the clinical setting in between appointments, and the St. Jude Global Alliance, a group of international members dedicated to improving access to quality care and increasing survival rates of children with cancer and other catastrophic diseases of childhood.

Corbin’s previous roles include serving as a principal at CannonDesign, a top-10 architectural and engineering firm where she led teams toward delivering award-winning health care facilities. She served as a member of the company's board of directors, and her portfolio spans the United States, India and the Middle East. She is a registered architect with additional certifications in lean design for health care.

She also worked for a multi-hospital health care system in Chicago where she was the administrative director of orthopaedic surgery and neurosurgery. Through this position, she developed a firsthand understanding of the challenges and rewards in patient/health care provider interactions.

Corbin attended the University of Virginia as an undergraduate and received her M.B.A. from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. She has been recognized as a Chicago Woman of Influence, a winner of Building Design & Construction's 40 Under 40 awards and was a recipient of Engineering News Record's Top 20 Under 40.


St. Jude Children's Research Hospital

St. Jude Children's Research Hospital is leading the way the world understands, treats and cures childhood cancer, sickle cell disease, and other life-threatening disorders. It is the only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center devoted solely to children. Treatments developed at St. Jude have helped push the overall childhood cancer survival rate from 20% to 80% since the hospital opened more than 60 years ago. St. Jude shares the breakthroughs it makes to help doctors and researchers at local hospitals and cancer centers around the world improve the quality of treatment and care for even more children. To learn more, visit, read St. Jude Progress, a digital magazine, and follow St. Jude on social media at @stjuderesearch.