Welcome from the President
Dear Prospective CDU Student,
Thank you for considering CDU in your educational plans. In our educational offerings we seek to serve you by providing an education that is rigorous and relevant, person-centered, and faithful to the Catholic Church’s teachings, with state-of-the-art learning management technologies that enable you to
access your education in the comfort of your home or wherever you choose.
You will never be alone at CDU. Our outstanding faculty and friendly staff will guide you every step of the way. Every day our students from all over the world engage with fellow students and faculty in our student life center. The online campus, easy-to-navigate Canvas learning platform, and carefully chosen faculty encourage an engaging, dialogic approach to learning that is modeled on a conversational pedagogy that seeks to create a point of encounter with others and with Christ. In each of our courses, we emphasize the importance of faculty-guided discussion and thoughtful student interaction that research confirms is the best way to learn.
We aim to graduate professionals who bring together an incisive and state-of-the-art knowledge of their field, complemented by a variety of practical, necessary skills enriched by our rich Judeo-Christian tradition, and a commitment to professional excellence and service to society through their profession.
We hope to soon count you among those of us who are committed to building the university of the future as well as a better future.
I look forward to seeing you “around” our online campus.
Maria Sophia Aguirre, PhD
About Dr. Maria Sophia Aguirre
Formerly a tenured Professor of Economics at The Catholic University of America, Dr. Aguirre has 30 years of teaching and research experience, while holding leadership positions at the academic program level, department and school levels, as well as the university at large. She established two successful master’s degree programs in the Department of Economics, served as Academic Chair and Director of Economic Programs, and from 2018 to 2023 served as Undergraduate Director of the Department of Economics. She was a Fulbright scholar in 2012–2013.
After completing Accounting and Business Administration degrees in Argentina, Dr. Aguirre worked in accounting and commodities trading in Chicago for several years before earning an M.A. and then a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Notre Dame with concentrations in monetary and fiscal policies and international financial markets. She has represented countries, including the Holy See, in international organizations, and served the U.S. President and Secretary of State as a presidential appointee confirmed by Congress in the capacity of Commissioner and Adviser for two presidential terms. Dr. Aguirre has testified before Congress in the U.S. and in several other countries, and has lectured and published extensively both domestically and internationally.
Since leaving government, Dr. Aguirre has worked to develop and implement Integral Economic Development (IED), an interdisciplinary approach to economic analysis that recognizes the role of social relationships—first manifested by the family—as key drivers of economic activity. Dr. Aguirre’s research has led to successful collaboration with a variety of business leaders, academicians, technologists, and policy makers on six continents, improving the lives of millions of people in the developing world. Just before assuming the role of President at CDU, she was on leave at the University of St. Thomas in Houston conducting research on the application of IED to artificial intelligence and virtual reality.