Cornell University Names Its First Female President

Elizabeth garrett cornell presidentvia CornellElizabeth Garrett is Cornell University’s 13th president.

University of Southern California provost Elizabeth Garrett will be the 13th president of Cornell University, the Ivy League school announced Tuesday.

Garrett is currently the second-ranking officer at USC, and has a background as a law professor. According to Cornell’s press release, in addition to her responsibilities as president, “Garrett will be a tenured faculty member in the Law School with a joint appointment in the Department of Government in the College of Arts and Sciences.”

She will replace outgoing Cornell president David Skorton, who is leaving at the end of the academic year to head the Smithsonian Institute.

“I am honored to have been selected as the next leader of this remarkable institution,” Garrett said in a statement. “Cornell is one of the world’s truly great universities, with a stellar commitment to excellence in teaching, research, scholarship and creative activity, linked with a deep commitment to public engagement. I am excited to join the Cornell community and to work with the faculty, staff, students and alumni to chart the next chapter in its illustrious history. Andrei and I also look forward to joining the vibrant Ithaca community.”

According to her biography on USC’s website, Garrett “specialises in the legislative process, direct democracy, the federal budget process, the study of democratic institutions, statutory interpretation and tax policy. She is an expert on state, national and presidential politics.”

One of Garrett’s biggest responsibilities during her tenure will likely be ensuring the success of Cornell’s New York City technology campus, set to open on Roosevelt Island in 2017. According to Cornell’s press release, Garrett currently serves on the board of trustees of Internet2, which “aims to accelerate research, advance education, and improve the delivery of public services through innovative technologies.”

Garrett is Cornell’s first female president. She received her B.A. in history from the University of Oklahoma and her J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law.

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