USC Price School of Public Policy

Meet the EML Leadership Team

Carol J. Geffner


Program Director, USC Executive Master of Leadership program
Price School of Public Policy, USC

Carol J. Geffner, Ph.D. is Professor of the Practice of Governance, Management and Policy at the Sol Price School of Public Policy and Director of the Executive Master of Leadership Program. Dr. Geffner is well known for her thought leadership and advisory work with multi-sectorial organizations on improving human and organizational performance and the capacity for sustainable success.

Dr. Geffner is particularly interested in the intersection between organizational performance, management and the discipline of psychology as a basis for her work. She is a nationally recognized speaker and thought leader on organizational change, CEO and executive team leadership and performance, large-scale transformation and application of learning theory to improving operational implementation.

Dr. Geffner has served as president of Newpoint Healthcare Advisors, a national healthcare consulting firm, for the past nine years. During this time, she has worked with nonprofit and for-profit health systems as well as academic medical centers on a broad range of strategy, growth and performance issues related to the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
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Robert Denhardt


Professor, USC Executive Master of Leadership program
Price School of Public Policy, USC

Robert B. Denhardt, Ph.D. is a central figure in leadership education nationally and internationally and is the past director of the USC Executive Master in Leadership at the Price School of Public Policy. He was previously ASU Regents Professor and Director of the School of Public Affairs at Arizona State University. He is also a Distinguished Visiting Scholar at the University of Delaware.

Dr. Denhardt is a Past President of the American Society for Public Administration, a nationwide organization of academics and practitioners in the field of public administration at all levels of government. He is also a member of the prestigious National Academy of Public Administration, the field’s equivalent of the National Academy of Science. He was the 2004 recipient of ASPA’s Dwight Waldo Award, celebrating lifetime achievement in scholarship in public administration.

Dr. Denhardt has a dozen books, including Just Plain Good Management, The Dance of Leadership, The New Public Service, Managing Human Behavior in Public and Nonprofit Organizations, The Pursuit of Significance, In the Shadow of Organization, Theories of Public Organization, Public Administration: An Action Orientation, Executive Leadership in the Public Service, The Revitalization of the Public Service, and Pollution and Public Policy. Many of these are in multiple editions and translations. He has published over one hundred articles in professional journals, primarily in the areas of leadership and organizational change.

Rick Culley


Faculty, Leadership
Price School of Public Policy, USC

Rick Culley, Ph.D. has more than 30 years of experience as a corporate executive and management consultant. In 1989, he established the Institute for Executive Development in Las Vegas, Nevada, to provide consulting services in Leadership Development, Strategic Planning, and Executive Coaching.

Dr. Culley was Director of Executive and Management Development at the New York Stock Exchange where he designed and managed the first executive development programs and assisted in the implementation of a new strategic plan. Previously, he worked at the World Trade Center as the Executive Development Administrator for the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey. He designed and conducted the Agency’s first leadership development programs for their executives.

Dr. Culley has lectured at Columbia University and the New School for Social Research. He was an Adjunct Associate Professor at New York University for eight years teaching courses in Leadership, Policy and Administration. He was the recipient of the Teaching Excellence Award. He teaches Leadership in the EML program as well as a graduate course in Strategic Planning at the Price School of Public Policy at USC.

Dr. Culley received his Masters and Ph.D. in Public Administration and Policy Analysis from USC. His undergraduate degree is in Political Science from California State University, Long Beach.

Rosana Padilla-Martinez

Rosana Padilla-Martinez

Program Administrator, USC Executive Master of Leadership program
Price School of Public Policy, USC

Rosana Martinez is the Program Administrator for the Executive Master of Leadership program at the University of Southern California. Rosana received her B.A. in Psychology & Spanish and an M.A. in Educational Counseling from Loyola Marymount University (LMU), where she also worked in the Office of the Registrar as an Academic Records Coordinator.

Rosana has been working at USC in student services/program administration since 2005, both in student services and program administration for the USC Davis School of Gerontology and, most recently, as the Associate Director for Graduate & International Programs at the USC Gould School of Law. She is a member of the National Academic Advising Association (NACADA), an association of professional advisors, counselors, faculty, administrators, and students working to enhance the educational development of students.