Susan Kamei

Associate Director of the Spatial Sciences Institute
Pronouns She / Her / Hers Email Office AHF B55H Office Phone (213) 740-1375


Susan H. Kamei is Associate Director of the Spatial Sciences Institute housed in the University of Southern California Dana and David Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences (USC Dornsife).  She directs the Institute’s external relations and helps lead the Institute’s academic, research, and collaborative initiatives. 

Prior to joining the Spatial Sciences Institute in September 2013, Kamei held positions as USC Dornsife’s Associate Dean for Advanced and Professional Programs; Director of USC Dornsife’s Master of Liberal Studies Program; Senior Vice President for Global Exchange and Executive Director, Los Angeles District Council, of the Urban Land Institute; and Director for Administrative Affairs and Executive Officer of the USC Lusk Center for Real Estate.  While with the USC Lusk Center, she also was Associate Director of and Adjunct Associate Professor with the Master of Real Estate Development Program in the USC School of Policy, Planning, and Development (now the USC Price School of Public Policy).  Kamei practiced corporate, real estate, and land use law, serving as regional counsel for Mobil Land Development Corporation and with the international law firm of Paul Hastings. 

Kamei’s expertise is in the creation, development, and operations of innovative educational business models, including undergraduate and graduate degree programs and programs in professional education, life-long learning, and multi-disciplinary learning.   She has been a leader at USC in expanding its graduate online programs and in establishing protocols for academic assessment.  She coalesces the objectives of university constituents – faculty, students, alumni, administration, and supporters – with those of business, non-profit, and community partners to enrich and further academic missions.

She serves on the board of directors of A Community of Friends, a nationally-recognized non-profit affordable housing developer for people with special needs, and served as vice president/president-elect of the Association of Graduate Liberal Studies Programs (2012-2013).  Kamei was recognized for her leadership and service in business, academia, and the community with the “Woman of Courage” Award in 2000 from the Friends of the Los Angeles City Commission on the Status of Women, and is an alumna of the HERS Institute for Women in Higher Education Administration (2009) and Leadership California (2005).  She served as National Deputy Legal Counsel and a member of the Japanese American Citizens League legislative strategy team which was successful in passing Federal legislation apologizing to and compensating Japanese Americans incarcerated during World War II.