Maria Romero-Morales

I am delighted to announce that Dr. Maria Romero-Morales has been selected as the Assistant Chief Inclusion and Diversity Officer for Communication, Community and Student Engagement. Dr. Maria Romero-Morales brings her passion and love for higher education into her work to lead our USC-wide initiatives and programs to promote equity; foster a positive, inclusive culture; and increase access and opportunities to those who have historically been underrepresented in higher education.

Maria is an administrative leader and interdisciplinary scholar whose work at the intersection of public policy and education informs her efforts to translate theory into practice that improves higher education. Dr. Romero-Morales brings along with her over 15 years of experience in k-12, community college, and higher education, where she has developed wide-ranging expertise spanning from recruitment and retention of students with non-traditional experiences, equity focused professional development for STEM faculty, and strategies to support higher education staff and students of color. In addition, Maria has cultivated in-depth knowledge of college retention and access and academic challenges that prevent first-generation and student of color populations from succeeding in a higher education environment. Based on her administrative, classroom, and research experience, Maria has had the distinct honor to provide consultation and professional development to California State University, University of California, and community college practitioners offering them resources on high impact practices focused on college access, retention, and academic success.

Her commitment and passion for higher education has led to her service on a range of committees on campus and in her community as an elected member of the El Monte city council. Maria is a distinguished first-generation, Triple-USC Trojan earning her Ed.D. with an emphasis on high impact practices for students of color, an M.P.A. from Price School of Public Policy, and B.S. focused on organizational change from Marshall School of Business.

I look forward to working closely with Maria where she will lead a research-informed strategic planning process to guide priorities to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Christopher Manning
Chief Inclusion and Diversity Officer