USC Price School of Public Policy

Shaping the World

A Message from USC Price Dean Jack H. Knott

Spring has arrived, and with it, the latest examples of how the USC Price School of Public Policy continues to advance scholarship and shape dialogue around the today’s most vital issues — from security and social change, to public transit and political transparency.

Given the Price School’s long history of training law-enforcement officers, we were pleased to assemble all seven of Los Angeles County’s female police chiefs to discuss “When Women Lead: Breaking Barriers, Building Communities.” Price alum John Thomas EML ’16, chief of the USC Department of Public Safety, approached the Price School with the idea for this inaugural event, which ended with a press conference moderated by Erroll Southers.

Celebrating another aspect of our rich and ongoing history, Dollinger Master in Real Estate Development alumni gathered to honor the pioneering program’s 30-year legacy and to look ahead to its future.

Taking an innovative approach to defining urban spaces, Associate Professor Annette Kim, director of the Spatial Analysis Lab (SLAB), is exploring the power of art through the interdisciplinary initiative “RAP: Race, Arts, & Placemaking,” a collaboration with the School of Cinematic Arts, the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, and the USC School of Architecture.

RAP’s activities include co-sponsoring a recent talk by Oakland Cultural Affairs Manager Roberto Bedoya on “Creative Placemaking, Creative Placekeeping and the Poetic Will of the City.

Is Congress currently fulfilling its historical duties? Assistant Professor Pamela McCann’s new book, The Federal Design Dilemma: Congress and Intergovernmental Delegation, takes a hard look at what happens when federal lawmakers cede authority to the states in implementing policies.

Bold bets can make history. The USC Center on Philanthropy and Public Policy welcomed James H. Shelton, president for education of the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative and former U.S. Deputy Secretary of Education, to share findings suggesting that precise, billion-dollar “big bets” to break down the social and economic barriers to success.

Author David Daley, speaking at a recent USC Schwarzenegger Institute event, shared his observations about the impact of gerrymandering on the November elections. Arnold Schwarzenegger took part in the discussion, held in partnership with Common Cause and the League of Women Voters.

I’m delighted to announce a new partnership with the USC School of Dramatic Arts, called Policy at the Playhouse, which began as an initiative at the USC Bedrosian Center initiative, with the idea that conversations about governance happen in many different forms and must be voiced by many different communities.

I also invite you to read about the exciting new gifts: the establishment of the  Price Family Endowed Chair, by Price Philanthropies, at the Price Center for Social Innovation; and a generous $1 million gift to support USC Price’s Diversity Initiative, which will support scholarships for underrepresented students and diversity programming.

Knowledge in Action kicks off with our congratulations to Assistant Professor William Resh, co-winner of the ASPA Public Administration Research Section’s Book of the Year Award for Rethinking the Administrative Presidency.

Professor Gary Painter, director of social policy at the USC Price Center for Social Innovation, presented his first-of-its-kind research on declines in urban mobility and its repercussions at a recent METRANS Research Seminar, co-sponsored the IPPAM program.

As transparency is key for a successful representative democracy, the Bedrosian Center on Governance hosted a research seminar addressing the policy implications of the Federal Election Commission audit program in fighting electoral malfeasance and improving the quality of our legislators.

I was privileged to moderate a discussion with Judge Widney Professor and retired General David Petraeus about national security as part of our post-election forum series.

USC Price’s Safe Communities Institute and CREATE Homeland Security Center welcomed Pete Simi, author and scholar of far-right extremism, to discuss theHidden Spaces of Hate.

Another important post-election forum featured Assistant Professors Kathleen Doherty and William Resh in dialogue with students and faculty about the president’s role in shaping policy — and how frequently vague that authority is.

USC Price’s Global Reach continues expanding as our Office of Global Engagement welcomed Barbara Nunberg to share her experiences in heading the World Bank’s Public Sector Reform program for East Asia and the Pacific.

In addition, the Safe Communities Institute hosted a delegation from 10 European nations as part of continuing efforts to share research and exchange ideas about countering violent extremism.

Our Student Impact continues widening as well, as the USC Price Asian Pacific Islander Caucus and Latino Student Association organized a panel on diverse women in elected leadership featuring California State Senator Holly Mitchell, Assemblymember Cristina Garcia and City of Sierra Madre Mayor Pro Tem Rachelle Arizmendi.

This issue’s Alumni Spotlight shines on La Mikia Castillo, MPP, MPL ’12, who makes a difference in people’s lives through her work at the National Foster Youth Institute and now as an adjunct faculty member and mentor at Price.

In Research News, Neeraj Sood, professor and vice dean for Research, conducted a study cited in the 2017 Economic Report of the President — the Obama administration’s final overview of the nation’s economic progress.

Adam Rose, research professor, led research at CREATE showing the potential billions in economic losses caused by the recent deadly attack at the Ft. Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.

The USC Center on Philanthropy and Public Policy welcomed Judge Gerald E. Rosen for an enlightening account of his role in Detroit’s bankruptcy and resurgence, for the inaugural presentation of the Irene Hirano Inouye Philanthropic Leadership Fund.

Dana Goldman, director of the USC Leonard D. Schaeffer Center for Health Policy & Economics, moderated a discussion at the Newseum in Washington, D.C., in February titled, “The Value of a Cure: Ensuring Access and Encouraging Innovation.”

These and other endeavors are the latest in a long tradition of achievements by USC Price alumni, faculty, and students in shaping our world for the better. Thank you for being part of this mission through your friendship and support.


Jack H. Knott, Dean
C. Erwin and Ione L. Piper Chair and Professor
USC Sol Price School of Public Policy