Tribute, USC Center for the Political Future
Elizabeth Garrett was Cornell University’s first woman president. Previously at USC, she served as the first woman Provost in the university’s history and senior vice president for academic affairs.
For over a decade, as President C.L. Max Nikias put it, proved “herself to be a remarkably dynamic leader with a singular gift for inspired, innovative thinking.” As provost, she helped develop the institute’s scholarship program.
Before joining USC, she was a clerk for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall and legislative director for U.S. Senator David Boren. President George W. Bush appointed her to a bipartisan panel on tax reform. President Barack Obama appointed her Assistant Secretary of the Department of the Treasury, but she elected to stay at USC.
Garrett also served on the California Fair Political Practices Commission. She published more than 50 articles, book chapters and essays analyzing budget policy, campaign finance laws, courts and political parties, various congressional procedures, judicial review of regulatory statutes, the initiative process and the California recall.
She died on March 6, 2016. Garrett worked tirelessly and her accomplishments will continue to benefit the Trojan Family for generations. Beginning in 2016, The Elizabeth Garrett Leadership award will help fund a female student who exemplifies leadership, public service and scholarship.