Faculty & Presenters

Meet the Leadership Team

USC faculty members are constantly making substantial contributions to research and education in leadership, management, policy and related fields. Executive Master of Leadership faculty members are drawn from among USC Price’s distinguished full-time faculty, as well as selectively from faculty of other schools, such as the Marshall School of Business, Annenberg School for Communications, School of Dramatic Arts, Thornton School of Music, and the Keck School of Medicine, among others.

Adjunct Executive Master of Leadership faculty members are active and experienced practitioners in the greater professional community, contributing to a practical classroom environment that stimulates the rapid integration of theory and practice. In addition to the involvement of seasoned executives as guest lecturers in class sessions, the Executive Master of Leadership also features a stellar roster of periodic special speakers who enrich the learning experience.

Carol J. Geffner
Carol J. Geffner
Program Director

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-sectoral organizations on improving human and organizational performance and the capacity for sustainable success.

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Rosana Padilla
Program Administrator

Rosana Padilla, Ed.D. is the Program Administrator for the Executive Master of Leadership program at the University of Southern California. She has extensive experience in higher education student services and program administration. Rosana received her B.A. in Psychology & Spanish and an M.A. in Educational Counseling from Loyola Marymount University (LMU). She earned her doctorate in organizational change and leadership from the USC Rossier School of Education.



2020-2021 Presenters

Rob Adler
Rob Adler
Acting Professor, DePaul University

Rob Adler is an internationally recognized expert in improvisational acting. He specializes in teaching actors how to get out of their head and bring spontaneity, presence and play to theatre, film & television scripts so well-prepared performances look improvised.


Lorraine Aguilar
Lorraine Aguilar
CEO, Working Harmony, Inc.

Lorraine Aguilar is passionate about empowering leaders with the skills to thrive in an interconnected world. She has trained and coached leaders of Merck, Special Olympics, the United Nations and other organizations.


Paul Danczyk
Director of Executive Education in Sacramento

Paul Danczyk is the Director of Executive Education in Sacramento for the University of Southern California Sol Price School of Public Policy and past-president of the American Society for Public Administration.


Rick Culley
Rick Culley
President, Institute for Executive Development

Rick Culley has more than 30 years experience as a corporate executive, university professor, and management consultant. In 1990, he established the Institute for Executive Development in Las Vegas, Nevada.


LaVonna B. Lewis
Teaching Professor of Public PolicyAssociate Dean of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

LaVonna B. Lewis is a Teaching Professor and the Director of Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives at the USC Sol Price School of Public Policy. She joined the University of Southern California faculty in the Fall of 1996.


Prasad Kaipa
Prasad Kaipa
CEO and Executive Coach, Kaipa Group

Dr. Prasad Kaipa works with Fortune 500 companies such as Disney, Sun, Raytheon, and also entrepreneurial companies including Aztec, Mastek, Olixir, and RowentaUSA as a CEO advisor and coach for senior executives.


Laree Kiely
Laree Kiely
President & CEO, The Kiely Group

Laree Kiely, President of The Kiely Group, also served for 15 years as professor on the faculty of the Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California where she taught in the graduate programs, Executive MBA.

Martin Shinn
Martin Shinn
Course Author/Instructor, Learning Tree International

Martin Shinn is an experienced designer and course author who as written and presented technical and management courses for many leading technology companies, including Intel, Tektronix, Learning Tree International and USC's School of Management.


Allen Weiss
Allen Weiss
Professor, USC Marshall School of Business

Allen Weiss is a professor of marketing at the Marshall School of Business and co-chair of Mindful USC. He is also a senior teacher of mindfulness meditation at InsightLA.

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Laura Wittcoff
Adjunct Instructor, Sol Price School of Public Policy.

Laura Wittcoff is the principal of the Intrinsic Group, and acts as the Director of Capacity Development for the Research Data Alliance-US. Dr. Wittcoff has over 20 years of experience leading consulting projects and coaching initiatives.


Past Presenters

Presenter Topic(s)
Lorraine Aguilar Listening for breakthroughs
Pauline Arneberg Organization development; action research; group process consultation and training
William Bellows Enterprise thinking; resource leadership; and relationship management
Tara Blanc Motivation; public management; public service ethics; organizational behavior; civic engagement
Angela Blanchard Organizational transformation
Ralph Bledsoe Transformation approaches; client-consultant relationships; organizational behavior; leadership demands analysis
Catherine Burke Leadership and management theory; organizational design and systems
Mary Campbell Emotional intelligence; interpersonal effectiveness; organizational behavior; workplace performance
Kelly Campbell-Rawlings Ethics in leadership; intersections between governance, citizens and civil society
Thomas Collins Strategy formation, human enterprise management, and leadership development
Terry Cooper Ethics of leadership and leading responsibly; citizen participation and engagement; administrative ethics
Richard Costigan Policy development and legislative strategy; legislative and government relations
Rick Culley Understanding and improving the effectiveness of leaders; strategic planning; executive coaching
Thomas Cummings Creating empowered work environments; designing high-performing organizations; strategic change efforts
Janet Denhardt Creativity and innovation
Richard Dixon Implementation and politics of budgetary policy making; collaboration and negotiation
Eric Douglas Decision-making and managing decisions; strategic planning; leadership development; change management
Jerry Estenson Leadership of teams; structuring systems, tasks, and responsibilities; building organizational capacity
Halee Fischer-Wright Strength-based leadership; values-based partnerships; entrepreneurial development
William Fujioka Leading and implementing new governance structures; political management
Michael Genovese New leadership approaches
Ronald Gilbert Customer-focused leadership; career development and effectiveness; organizational performance; career development/work preference indicators and assessments
Britta Guerrero Strategic planning; building an organizational mission and vision
Emory Hagan Leadership principles for adversity; decision-making models; action development and execution
Billy Hamilton Reforming public organizations; performance review; tax and fiscal policy; resource allocation
Daniel Haverty Servant leadership; team training and development; program evaluation
Roderick Hickman Leadership as a lifestyle; challenging the process; leading yourself and identifying key leadership foundations
Andrew Imada Human-systems integration; organizational design and change; participatory strategies and macro-ergonomic approaches
Jake Jacobs Strategic change paradigms; organization engagement initiatives; business sustainability
Prasad Kaipa Organizational systems; creativity and innovation
Elizabeth Kersten Conflict, power, and politics; addressing regional and state policy challenges; political management
Laree Kiely Leading through influence; navigating uncertainty; facilitative leadership; organizational effectiveness solutions
John King Core-value driven leadership; leadership conversations and identifying a noble cause; learning models
Mary Kirlin Community and civic engagement; collective decision making
Kenneth Kizer Facilitating sustainability infrastructure development; prioritizing and aligning outcomes with strategy and vision
Mark Kroeker Leadership, language, and models for understanding; developing organizational structure, trust, and growth
David Landis Negotiations; consensus building; leading conflict resolution; mediation, arbitration and collective bargaining fundamentals
Charles Lane Moving an organization forward; leadership challenges in a changing times; social capital; organizational commitment
Art Leahy Power and influence; negotiation; political management; scenario planning
David Levy Leadership from a paradigmatic perspective; motivation, influence, and persuasion; organizational psychology and theory
David Logan Emerging patterns of corporate leadership; organizational transformation; team building; leading change in the workplace
Marc Mertz Action planning; performance management; creating and fostering teamwork
Brinton Milward Building and managing effective social networks; designing communities of collaboration; network leadership
Mike Morrison Leadership consulting: supporting frameworks; management life-cycles and systems theory
Steve Moya Branding, marketing, and communication; governance tools for societal leadership
Afsaneh Nahavandi Cross-cultural leadership; leadership development; organizational behavior
Chester Newland Leadership accountability; facilitative organizational leadership and frameworks; constitutional standards and values
James Parco Information structures and decision-making; perception, inquiry, and organizational power; reflective leadership
Michael Parkyn Creating leaders through a mentoring culture; leadership core values, character and culture
Rita Paskowitz Authentic communication; storytelling
Gregory Patton Developing new leadership perspectives; the behavioral change process; understanding leadership styles; leveraging teams
Mark Perez Culture change; innovation; aligning performance to motivation systems
Jane Pisano Strategy and change; leading in political environments; creating organizational vision and partnerships
Christine Porath Workplace incivility; environmental and contextual analysis; employment life cycle; organizational costs of culture
Connie Rice Systems change; formulating strategic initiatives and fostering sustainable progress
Peter Robertson Empowering self and others; collaborative culture, organizing and governance; organizational commitment
Miguel Santana Adaptive leadership; managing conflict and differences; consensus building and community stewardship
Herb Schultz Stakeholder roles and responsibilities; organizational communication channels; policy versus politics
Raymond Smith Motivation and cultivating your people; capability-based assessment processes
Erroll Southers Leadership in politics and adversity; charismatic leadership and influence processes; power of persuasion
Ronald Stupak Strategic systems based on performance measures, quality improvement, and competitive advantage; leadership integration models
David Suarez Designing, engineering, and managing culture; leading organizational change; power and influence dynamics
Melissa Succi-Lopez Leading and managing high performing teams; characteristics of teams; shaping organizational goals and objectives