The Kabiller Science of Empathy Prize

Learn more about the The Kabiller Science of Empathy Prize which is intended to advance the understanding of human empathy.

The Kabiller Science of Empathy Prize celebrates Kellogg’s strength in and rigorous approach to empathy.

Awarded biennially, the prize is intended to advance the understanding of empathy and its consequences. The prize will be awarded to a Kellogg faculty member who has conducted novel research that advances analytical and rigorous critical thinking about human empathy, understanding and trust. In addition, the prize will also recognize a Kellogg alum who leads with exceptional empathy while delivering financial results and driving innovation. 

Learn more about the prize and Kellogg's commitment to the science of empathy by watching this video.

We would like to congratulate the 2023 prize recipients:

Faculty Recipient

Paola Sapienza (on the left) holds the Donald C. Clark/HSBC Chair in Consumer Finance and is a professor of finance. Paola’s research interests are broad and highly influential. Much of her work focuses on the impact of cultural norms on economic decision-making and she has examined topics ranging from gender diversity in schools to COVID-19 social distancing. It is her work on trust that has earned her this award. Because trust involves assessing the probability that someone else will perform a beneficial action, trusting someone often requires deep consideration of that person’s perspective and an understanding of what motivates them. Her examination of the origins and implications of trust across cultures and markets provides a distinctive perspective on empathy.  

About the donor

David G. Kabiller ’85, ’87 MBA is the co-founder and the head of business development at AQR Capital Management and a member of Northwestern University’s Board of Trustees. His previous philanthropic support of Northwestern has included the Kabiller Prize in Nanoscience and Nanomedicine and the Kabiller Young Investigator Award in Nanoscience and Nanomedicine, among other investments.

Of his gift, David Kabiller said, “Empathy is critical in the business world today, from client relationships to nurturing talent at every level of your organization. Kellogg has always been the leading school that has embraced empathy as core to its culture and curriculum. I hope this award, the research and the conference, will further our collective understanding of the role empathy has in sustaining an innovative capitalistic society with a heart.”

To learn more about David, watch Kellogg’s "Conversations with Distinguished Alumni" interview with him and Dean Francesca Cornelli.


Alumni Recipient


Anant Goenka ’07 MBA is vice chairman of conglomerate RPG Group and CEAT, one of India’s leading tire manufacturers. Anant demonstrates the qualities of a Kellogg leader. He leads with empathy while driving innovation and excellence. As CEO, he guided CEAT through a transformative 10-year period in which it implemented Total Quality Management and received the Deming Grand Prize, one of the foremost quality awards in the world. CEAT was also recognized by the World Economic Forum as a Lighthouse Factory for adoption of Industry 4.0 technologies. During Anant’s tenure, the market capitalization of CEAT grew over 20X, from $44 million to over $1 billion. Anant and his team defined and implemented company values including customer obsession, agility, empowerment and caring for people. The commitment to values made the organization earn a reputation as one of the greatest places to work in India. Additionally, Anant has been instrumental in CEAT’s work toward halving its carbon footprint by 2030 and blazing a trail to address gender imbalance in the workforce—women now comprise a large share in the factories that were traditionally dominated by men.

To learn more about Anant, watch Kellogg’s "Conversations with Kellogg Leaders" interview with him.

Watch the ANANT GOENKA Interview

See all Conversations with Distinguished Alumni


Why was this prize created?

Empathy is an emerging buzzword in business and academia, but Kellogg has practiced it for decades. We develop leaders with empathy, and we produce a significant amount of related social science research, not only in more natural areas like management, organizational behavior and marketing, but also in less obvious areas like accounting, game theory, economics and finance. This pervasiveness of researchers focused on topics directly or indirectly related to empathy shows how much this is part of Kellogg culture.

Kellogg’s focus on empathy is based on science and rigorous and critical thinking. We focus on empathy as a way to understand the intangible elements that make a process, an institution or an equilibrium more effective.

The goal of the Kabiller Science of Empathy Prize is to celebrate Kellogg’s strengths in and rigorous approach to empathy, while stimulating new research. The prize has been made possible by the generosity of David G. Kabiller ’85, ’87 MBA.

How were the winners selected?

For the alumni winner, Kellogg collected nominations from the alumni community. A small committee from the school then selected a recipient.

The faculty winner was selected by a committee of faculty members.

How are the prize winners recognized?

The alumni and faculty prize winners are honored at a dinner with the dean and donor of the prize. Additionally, prize winners are recognized in a range of Kellogg communications.

The faculty recipient also receives a grant to support research on empathy and has the opportunity to help shape a biennial conference in the science of empathy, attracting world-class academics from other top universities.

The alumni prize is non-monetary.

Thought Leadership on Empathy

Illustration of a woman walking

Why Bosses Cut Some Employees Slack for Unethical Behavior

When and how managers may respond differently to employee behavior, based on the research of Yajun Zhang, Kai Chi Yam, Maryam Kouchaki and Junwei Zhang 

Why Leaders Should Nurture Their “Social–Emotional Intelligence”

Four helpful skills to diffuse conflict, as defined by Brooke Vuckovic

Portrait of Kellogg professor Nour Kteily

How Much Empathy Do You Feel When Powerful People Suffer?

Surprising insights based on how people are driven to empathize, based on the research of Brian Lucas and Nour Kteily

I (Don’t) Feel Your Pain

The complications of finding and expressing empathy in the workplace, based on the research of Rachel Ruttan, Mary Hunter-McDonnell, and Loran Nordgren

Emotional Intelligence Is Key to Strong Leadership. Here’s How to Sharpen Yours

Key tips for business leaders on the importance of emotional intelligence, from Brenda Ellington Booth

Illustration of someone working

Could Bringing Your “Whole Self” to Work Curb Unethical Behavior?

Valuable insights on integrating your professional and personal identities, based on the research of Mahdi Ebrahimi, Maryam Kouchaki and Vanessa Patrick-Ralhan

Nicole Stephens' Portrait

Are You Giving All of Your Employees an Equal Chance to Succeed?

Read or listen to this article on the next steps you can take to achieve a truly inclusive workplace, as defined by Nicole Stephens

Illustration of an employee stuck between two coworkers in an argument

Downplaying Social Pain

Read or listen to this article on the true effects of social rejection, based on the research of Loran Nordgren, Kasia Banas and Geoff McDonald



Get to know our alumni newsmakers.


Network and learn at events near you.