Wanda Austin Named USC’s First Black Woman President
The University of Southern California has named Wanda Austin as their interim president. Former USC President Max Nikias stepped down earlier this year after sexual assault allegations against the school were made public. Deadline reports:
“Nikias has been under fire in the wake of revelations that a former campus gynecologist was allegedly involved in sexual misconduct over many years. Thousands of students and alumni signed an online petition demanding his resignation, but Nikias announced in May that he would step down as president.”
Over twenty former and current USC students accused gynecologist Dr. George Tyndall of sexual misconduct. Several have filed lawsuits. Tyndall has claimed he is innocent of the allegations.
Austin received her doctorate in Systems Engineering from the University of Southern California after receiving her bachelor’s degree in Mathematics from Franklin & Marshall College, and a master’s degree in Systems Engineering and Mathematics from the University of Pittsburgh.
A Bronx native, her background is in aerospace and engineering and she served as the president and CEO of The Aerospace Corporation. She was selected by former President Barack Obama in 2015 to serve on the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST).
Austin sits on the board of the University of Southern California, the National Geographic Society, the Space Foundation, Chevron and has served on the NASA Advisory Council.