Dr. Wanda M. Austin was appointed interim president of the University of Southern California on August 7, 2018 by the Board of Trustees.

Austin is an American businesswoman who is internationally recognized for her work in aeronautics and systems engineering. She is co-founder of MakingSpace Inc., a systems engineering and leadership development consultant and motivational speaker.

She is the former president and CEO of The Aerospace Corp., an independent, nonprofit organization dedicated to the application of science and technology toward critical issues affecting the nation’s space program. From January 2008 until October 2016, Austin led the organization’s 3,600 employees and managed annual revenues of $950 million at 17 offices nationwide. As the sixth president, she was the first female and the first African American president in the 57-year history of the organization.