University of Southern California

USC Global Conference

Global Challenges for Humanity
Seoul, Korea
May 23-25, 2013

Track 2 – 1:45 PM, Saturday, May 25

Confirmed speakers as of May 1, 2013.


Elizabeth Garrett NewElizabeth Garrett (conference co-chair) is provost and senior vice president for academic affairs of the University of Southern California. As the university’s second-ranking officer, she oversees the USC Dana and David Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences as well as the Keck School of Medicine of USC and 16 other professional schools, in addition to the divisions of student affairs, libraries, information technology services, research, student religious life and enrollment services. She also sits on the governing board of the USC hospitals.

Garrett is the Frances R. and John J. Duggan Professor in the USC Gould School of Law. In addition to this primary faculty appointment, she has joint appointments in USC Dornsife College and the School of Policy, Planning, and Development, as well as a courtesy appointment in the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism.

She serves on the Board of Directors of the Initiative and Referendum Institute at USC and, in August 2009, was appointed one of five commissioners on the California Fair Political Practices Commission, the state’s independent political oversight agency. Then-president George W. Bush appointed her to serve on the nine-member bipartisan Tax Reform Panel in 2005. She previously served as director of the USC-Caltech Center for the Study of Law and Politics.


Karen Gallagher New

Karen Symms Gallagher has focused the USC Rossier School of Education on its mission to improve learning in urban education locally, nationally and globally. The School’s highly innovative graduate programs prepare students to be change agents as teachers, school leaders, and scholars. The USC Rossier School has risen to #15 in U.S. News and World Report rankings.

Under her leadership, Rossier launched its groundbreaking online master of arts in teaching (M.A.T.) degree in 2009, which has grown the number of highly prepared teachers ten-fold in three years, with students in all 50 states and over 40 countries. The School also pioneered the practitioner-focused education doctorate, the Ed.D, that is now a national model. Gallagher’s team launched its global executive Ed.D. program in 2012 to prepare senior education executives from around the world for the challenges of the 21st century. In Los Angeles, she and her faculty opened USC Hybrid High School, a transformational charter school with a blended learning environment, using personalized curriculum, technology and flexible schedules to assure success for students most at risk of dropping out.

Karen Symms Gallagher was named a 2013 Pahara-Aspen Fellow, the first school of education dean to join a cohort of two dozen nationally known education entrepreneurs and reformers. She was also the co-recipient of the inaugural Provost’s Prize for Innovation in Educational Practice. She received the Los Angeles Urban League’s Social Responsibility Award and, in 2011, the Phi Delta Kappa (PDK) International Service Key from the USC chapter of PDK, the premiere international association for educators.


Yannis Yortsos NewYannis C. Yortsos is dean of the USC Viterbi School of Engineering.  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.

Along with his partners at Duke University and Olin College, he helped promote the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) Grand Challenges of Engineering by co-hosting the first NAE Grand Challenges Summit at Duke University in 2009, and its follow-up at USC in 2010, and helped guide the 2013 Global Summit in London.  The first summit spawned the Grand Challenges Scholars Program for undergraduate engineering schools across the nation.

Dean Yortsos received his B.S. from the National Technical University, Athens, Greece, and his M.S. and Ph.D from the California Institute of Technology, all in chemical engineering.  He was elected to the U.S. National Academy of Engineering in 2008 and in 2011 received the Honorary Member award of the Society of Petroleum Engineers, the highest honor this society bestows upon its members. He serves on the executive committee of both the Engineering Deans Council and the Global Engineering Deans Council.