Shaun Harper, Ph.D.

Provost Professor and Executive Director, USC Race and Equity Center

Shaun Harper, Ph.D. holds the Clifford and Betty Allen Chair in Urban Leadership at the University of Southern California. In 2022, he was appointed University Professor, a distinction bestowed only to 26 of 4,700 full-time USC faculty members. He also is founder and executive director of the USC Race and Equity Center as well as one of 14 Provost Professors, an elite cadre of interdisciplinary scholars who hold joint appointments in two or more academic schools at the University. Dr. Harper has published 12 books, and is author of more than 100 peer-reviewed articles and other academic publications. He is recipient of dozens of top honors in his field and four honorary degrees. Prior to joining the USC faculty in 2017, he spent a decade at the University of Pennsylvania, where he was a tenured full professor.

A prolific and energizing speaker on a range of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) topics, Shaun has delivered hundreds of keynote addresses around the world, many to audiences comprised of thousands. In his DEI strategy work with companies and institutions, Dr. Harper prioritizes people, systems, structures, policy, accountability, and sustainability. Evidence-based approaches to organizational change distinguish him from most other DEI consultants. His smart, yet plainspoken and practically-useful style differentiates him from most academicians. He has testified twice to the U.S. House of Representatives, spoken at numerous White House and federal agency convenings, and been appointed by two U.S. presidents and a California governor to leadership roles. He frequently writes for Forbes and The Washington Post.