USC's partnership with California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger occurs at the right place and the right time. Home to one in four Californians and one in 31 Americans, Los Angeles County has one of the most diverse populations ever assembled, and the region's influence is felt around the world.
The University of Southern California has demonstrated longstanding leadership in a wide range of inter-related disciplines-policy, communications, international relations, law, business, social work, public diplomacy, education, and urban development to name but a few. The USC Sol Price School of Public Policy was one of the nation's first programs of its kind and remains a trailblazer. The school has long fostered the highest levels of education and research as well as provided students with the training necessary to become local and global leaders on important policy issues. USC and the Price School offer the ideal setting for an institute designed to effect real change across a spectrum of multidisciplinary interests and issues.
During his tenure as California's 38th Governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger presided over the world's sixth largest economy. He championed an open primary system and advocated redistricting reform that would empower citizen panels over politicians. Through his leadership the state was at the forefront of a number of vital issues-including investment in stem cell research, renewable energy and critical infrastructure. He has continued to play an active role internationally on topics such as sustainability, education and the design of democratic institutions. The USC Schwarzenegger Institute creates an incubator to continue this important work, as well as realizing his vision for cooperation rather than political divisiveness.
"The establishment of this Institute marks the merger between the brightest policymakers of our time and the university that has long been the leader in civic engagement, locally, nationally and internationally. The emergence of the Schwarzenegger Institute at USC could not come at a more critical moment. The world is beset by a myriad of challenging problems, all crying out for serious and sustainable solutions."- USC President C. L. Max Nikias