Dean’s Message

Shaping the World

A Message from USC Price Dean Jack H. Knott

Dean Jack Knott Photo by Tom Queally

On behalf of the USC Sol Price School of Public Policy, I welcome you to the Summer 2012 issue of our newsletter.

I would like to begin by sharing a few words from distinguished civil rights attorney and leader Connie Rice, who delivered this year’s keynote address at the Price undergraduate commencement ceremony. In her speech, she spoke of the important work of the Price School and noted how our graduates have the capacity within themselves to make a significant impact on the world.

    “Your school extends its wingspan to help lift forgotten communities… Your degrees are degrees that engage civil society, make democracy work and seek justice. You are trying to construct and become architects of systems and cities and structures that give life to freedom and democracy.”

Indeed, our school, its students and alumni are committed to enhancing government and society, to planning and building better communities — to shaping our world for the better.

Commencement 2012 Photo by Tom Queally

In this edition of the newsletter, you can see how our recent graduates already are putting theory into practice. Three will be applying their knowledge at federal roles – in the U.S. departments of State, Education, and Housing and Urban Development – through the prestigious Presidential Management Fellowships. Three others have earned Clinton-Orfalea Fellowships and will spend the next year at the Clinton Climate Initiative and the Alliance for a Healthier Generation. In addition, our MPP students, through their practicum projects, served as consultants and conducted in-depth policy analyses for high-level clients such as the Congressional Research Service, RAND, Environmental Protection Agency and United Way of Greater Los Angeles.

I also invite you to read articles on our recent $4 million endowment to create the Keston Family Chair in Real Estate; PhD alum Yong-duck Jung assuming the presidency of the prestigious Korean Social Science Research Council; and the launching of USC Price’s Executive Education Program for local elected officials.

The Knowledge-in-Action section includes profiles on PhD grad Laurie Nijaki, who will begin a two-year postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Michigan’s Erb Institute for Global Sustainable Enterprise, and Leonard Hyman MPP ’12, whose website Crowdvocate offers a novel way to fund advocacy efforts. Also covered are recent USC Price events on transit-oriented development, philanthropy-government partnerships and economic development.

In the Global Reach section, you will learn about the Chinese Academy of Governance delegation sharing research on developing cost-effective and politically viable climate strategies at our school, as well as two MPA alumnae from Shanghai who now work for USC, helping advance its global agenda.

Our Alumni Spotlight focuses on the work of Kiyomi Burchill, a 2011 graduate of our MPA program in Sacramento. In December, she was appointed assistant secretary of the State of California’s Health and Human Services Agency by Governor Jerry Brown.

This month, we also added special sections that highlight recent Price faculty books and student academic achievements.

As always, the newsletter features a sampling of our faculty expertise cited in the media, including major news outlets like the Washington Post, CNN and NPR. We also include a link to the video of Connie Rice’s keynote address from commencement.

So once again, I offer my heartiest congratulations to the class of 2012! All of us in the USC Price family are truly proud of you and your accomplishments. You will each make great contributions in your chosen fields and improve the quality of life for people and communities everywhere.


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