Charles Lowrey, president and CEO of Prudential Financial, is the recipient of the inaugural William G. McGowan Award for Ethical Leader of the Year.

Lowrey received a cash prize of $25,000 to donate to a nonprofit organization of his choice. It will direct the funds to the New Alliance to support Prudential’s various community, education and workforce development initiatives.

Diana Spencer, executive director of the McGowan Fund, which presented the award, recognized Lowrey during the June 13 general session at the 2022 SHRM Annual Conference & Expo (SHRM22).

The McGowan Fund launched the William G. McGowan Ethical Leader of the Year Award to encourage principled leadership. Each nominee was nominated by a colleague, assessed by a selection committee of peers and evaluated on their ethical leadership.

“From the 115 million workers and their families to the 300,000 human resource professionals represented by SHRM, we know that ethical leadership matters,” Spencer said. “Lives depend on it. Communities depend on it. Equity depends on it. The environment depends on it. Our world needs ethical leaders more than ever.”

Under his leadership, Spencer said, Lowrey made Prudential Financial “the company people look to as a model for how to be successful in business and how to do it with values-based decision-making today.”

Lowrey served as executive vice president and chief operating officer of international business at Prudential as well as executive vice president and chief operating officer of US businesses. He also served as President and CEO of PGIM, Prudential’s global investment management business, and earlier as CEO of PGIM Real Estate.

Lowrey emphasized the important role of HR in creating a culture of ethical leadership.

“The example you set as leaders of people and as stewards of human capital can make all the difference,” he said. “Together, we can all Cause the Effect. Each of you individually, in your own way, can Cause the Effect.”

“Cause the Effect” was the theme for SHRM22.

McGowan was an entrepreneur who ran telecommunications giant MCI for 24 years until his death in 1992. He launched the campaign that ended AT&T’s monopoly in 1984. The William G. McGowan Charitable Fund was established after his death to provide financial support to organizations that reflect the visions, concerns, and life experiences of his benefactor.

Funds are distributed as grants for three program areas – education, social services, health care and medical research – with priority given to programs that have a proven track record, have measurable results, plan for sustainability and aim to put end the cycles of poverty and suffering.

“The annual SHRM Conference and Expo is the largest gathering of human resources professionals in the world. We wanted to take this opportunity to showcase SHRM’s commitment to more than words, but the actions of ethical leadership,” said said Johnny C. Taylor, Jr. ., SHRM-SCP, president and CEO of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), in a press release about the award. He was part of the jury that selected the winner.

“At SHRM, we believe that better workplaces lead to a better world,” Taylor added, “and that it’s important to use our stage to demonstrate HR’s dedication, as a profession, to ethical leadership. .”