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Solving Problems and Nurturing Future Problem Solvers

Courtney Welton helps guide curriculum alignment for the MPD2 program in addition to her work promoting compliance,ethics, and transformation at Allstate.

There is no such thing as an average day for Courtney Welton, and that's exactly how she likes it. 

Welton is senior vice president and general counsel for business law and compliance at Allstate. She also serves as the insurance company’s chief ethics and privacy officer.

Courtney Welton“Some days I’m rolling up my sleeves assisting a business partner with how to enable an innovative product or service,” Welton said. “Another day I might be learning about how AI can be used to solve our customer’s protection problems."

Since 2022, Welton has been sharing her knowledge and expertise with Northwestern Engineering's Master of Product Design and Development Management (MPD2) program as a member of the Industry Advisory Board (IAB). The IAB is charged with ensuring course offerings remain aligned with industry needs.

“So many customer problems remain unsolved,” she said. “I love the idea of helping foster the next generation of product professionals who will solve important problems."

Welton has been addressing customer problems at Allstate for more than five years. She provides legal advice and promotes compliance and ethical activity for more than 20 business units and subsidiaries. She created Allstate’s first innovation legal team, focused on cybersecurity, privacy, data, intellectual property, and international law.

Welton joined Allstate after nearly a decade working in technology, including as global general counsel for Motorola Mobility. There, she crossed paths with current MPD2 director Jim Wicks, who served as senior vice president of design for Motorola from 2007 to 2016.

Welton eagerly accepted Wicks’ offer to join the IAB.

“I knew what an inspiring leader and creative product designer Jim was then and still is,” she said. “I was thrilled to hear about his work in academia and with students. I instantly wanted to be a part of it.”

Welton's work is vital to Allstate's transformation into a data and technology company. She’s also working on the ongoing transformation of its compliance function to make it more agile and adaptable to emerging technologies like generative artificial intelligence.

“To me, innovation is finding new ways of thinking, working, and problem solving,” she said. “I love to see the intersection of diversity sparking innovation because it opens up possibilities for new and different ways to solve problems for our customers and employees.”

Her passion is a more diverse and inclusive society. She’s a board member of Legal Prep Charter Academy in Chicago, helping diverse young adults succeed in Chicago's only legal-themed high school. She’s also on the board of REDF, a nonprofit that invests in and supports businesses that help people break through barriers to employment.

It’s all part of her focus on brighter futures. Which is why she’s excited about her work with MPD2, helping guide a product design curriculum that’s both inspiring and pragmatic. She’s eager to see the impact MPD2 students have.

“I appreciate the opportunity to work with the talented students of MPD2,” she said. “I look forward to seeing them make a difference for customers as they take their learnings into action after graduation.”

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