Alice Tepper Marlin '66 is founder and executive director of the Council on Economic Priorities, an organization that promotes corporate social responsibility and healthy environmental practices.
After graduating from Wellesley with a major in economics, Alice went to work on Wall Street as a securities analyst. Soon, she was assigned the portfolio of a synagogue, which stipulated that she not invest in any company supplying weapons for the Vietnam War. The stipulation made Tepper Marlin realize that she might be able to show Wall Street that being socially responsible can have a positive effect on a business's bottom line. To accomplish that goal, she founded the Council on Economic Priorities (CEP in 1969).
Topics of research and advocacy by CEP have included the environment, nuclear power, ethical investment of pension funds, effective consumerism, and recently, quality of working life. Tepper Marlin has worked with major corporations across the globe to rate their social accountability and to put in place new measures to increase profits and answer investor and consumer concerns about social and environmental issues. Demonstrating through research that, most often, a combination of social and financial responsibility does in fact lead to optimum bottom-line results, CEP has had major impact on how corporations are run.
In 1988, CEP broadened its mission from Wall Street to the general public, promoting the power of consumers to "vote with their wallets." In 1990, Tepper Marlin co-authored Shopping for a Better World, a consumer guide that rates companies producing consumer products, allowing the public to make informed decisions about the products they buy.
Tepper Marlin is a frequent lecturer who has been profiled in People magazine, the New York Times, the Philadelphia Inquirer, and the Los Angeles Times, among other publications. She was one of Mademoiselle's Outstanding Women of the Year in 1970, and received Adweek's Woman of the Year award in 1990. She and her husband, John Tepper Marlin, live in New York City; they have two children.
Reading List: Works by Alice Tepper Marlin