Director of The Neely Center

Ali E. Abbas is Professor of Industrial and Systems Engineering and Professor of Public Policy at the University of Southern California. A leading authority in the field of decision and risk analysis, Dr. Abbas received his M.S. in electrical engineering; M.S. in engineering economic systems & operations research; PhD in management science and engineering, and PhD minor in electrical engineering all from the school of engineering at Stanford University.


Director Executive Education

Frank Vram Zerunyan, J.D. is a Professor of the Practice of Governance at the Sol Price School of Public Policy and Director of Executive Education at USC Price Bedrosian Center on Governance. His key areas of expertise include Local Governments, Public Private Partnerships, Civic Leadership, Land Use, Regulation, Negotiation and Executive Education.

Advisory Board Chair

Advisory Board Chair


Advisory Board

Dean of the USC Marshall School of Business

Dean James Ellis has overseen the USC Marshall School of Business since 2007. Previously he served as the University's Vice Provost for Globalization, Marshall's Vice Dean for External Relations, and Marshall's Associate Dean for the Undergraduate Program. As an instructor, he has been named professor of the year by many organizations, and in 2003 received Marshall's Golden Apple Award and Teaching Has No Boundaries Award. Professor Ellis continues to teach Marshall's invitation-only Freshman Leadership Colloquium each Fall. Dean Ellis serves on boards at the Capital Group and Mercury Insurance as well as a number of non-profit boards.

Dean of the USC Sol Price School of Public Policy

Dean Jack H. Knott has overseen the USC Sol Price School of Public Policy in August 2005. He is the C. Erwin and Ione L. Piper Chair and Professor. Before joining USC, Dean Knott served from 1997 until 2005 as professor of political science and director of the Institute of Government and Public Affairs at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Chicago. From 1987 to 1997, Dean Knott was a professor in the Department of Political Science at Michigan State University, where he served as departmental chair and director of Michigan State’s Institute for Public Policy and Social Research.

Dean of the USC Viterbi School of Engineering

Dean Yannis C. Yortsos has overseen the USC Viterbi School of Engineering in 2005. He is the Chester F. Dolley Professor of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering, and holds the Zohrab A. Kaprielian Dean’s Chair in Engineering. Yortsos is well known for his work on fluid flow, transport and reaction processes in porous and fractured media with applications to the recovery of subsurface fluids and soil remediation. He has been actively involved in the peer review of the Yucca Mountain Project for the disposal of high-level radioactive waste.

Technical Fellow & Managing Director, Microsoft Research

Eric Horvitz is the Director of the Microsoft Research lab at Redmond. Pursuing research on principles of machine intelligence and on leveraging the complementarities of human and machine reasoning.  He has been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering (NAE), and the CHI Academy and is a fellow of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI) and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). 

Managing Director of Cook & Company

Gary Cook is the Managing Director of Cook & Company. He is an executive coach, senior consultant, and leader with over twenty-five years of experience in a broad range of large and small private and public enterprises. He is a pioneer in using innovative technologies to create change and improvement, as documented in his book, Consilience Leadership: Using Innovative Ideas from Economics, Science, and Neuropsychology to Create Breakthroughs in Leading Organizations.

Professor Emeritus of Computer Science, Electrical Engineering and Biomedical Engineering

George A. Bekey is an authority on robot research and applications, and is known for his scientific achievements, broad technological perspective and humanistic approach. A member of the National Academy of Engineering, Dr. Bekey was chosen by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to lead a 2005-2006 assessment of the state of robotics in the United States, Western Europe and the Pacific Rim. 

Advisory Board

George Patrick Murphy began his business career working for the Commercial Division of Scott Paper Company (acquired by Kimberly-Clark Corporation in 1995), and eventually assumed the roles of Vice President of Sales and Business Integration at Sani-Fresh International, (a Scott Paper Worldwide Subsidiary), North America Vice President of Sales and Channel Development, Away From Home Division, Vice President –Business Leader Asia Pacific Region (Headquartered in Hong Kong), and later as Kimberly-Clark North America Vice President, Away From Home Division, and Corporate Officer.

USC Vice President of Admissions and Planning

Katharine Harrington became vice president of admissions and planning at USC in August 2010, having previously served as dean of admission and financial aid since 2005. As vice president, she provides oversight for USC’s enrollment activities including admission, financial aid, academic records, and the registrar. She works closely with the provost and others on budget and planning related to tuition revenue, retention and financial aid, and with academic units to continue the improvement of retention, and graduation rates.

Professor of Management Science and Engineering, Stanford University

Ronald A. Howard has defined the field of Decision Analysis. A Professor in the Department of Engineering-Economic Systems (now the Department of Management Science and Engineering) in the School of Engineering of Stanford University since 1965 he is a member of the National Academy of Engineering.