Festival Speakers


Carol L. Folt

USC President
University of Southern California

Dr. Carol L. Folt serves as the twelfth president of the University of Southern California. She is a highly experienced leader, internationally recognized life scientist, and award-winning teacher. In leading USC, Dr. Folt brings broad executive and leadership experience across the academy, including arts and sciences, professional schools, and academic medicine.

Throughout her career, Dr. Folt has earned a reputation for always placing students at the center, advancing academic excellence and innovation, setting ambitious goals, prioritizing shared governance, and focusing on the future.

Prior to her appointment at USC in July 2019, Dr. Folt led the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill – one of the nation’s most distinguished and research-intensive universities – from 2013 to 2019. At UNC, she set a bold course for the university’s future by spearheading a historic capital campaign, raising billions of dollars; building the school’s first-ever strategic plan in collaboration with every school and department; fighting to make college education accessible and affordable; and inspiring thousands of Tar Heels to embrace the arts and sustainability. Under her leadership, UNC was repeatedly named the No. 1 value in public higher education, surpassed $1 billion in annual research expenditures for the first time in school history (No. 5 in the nation overall), and set admissions records every year.

Prior to her tenure at UNC, Dr. Folt served in various leadership roles at Dartmouth College, including as interim president, provost, dean of faculty, and Dartmouth Professor of Biological Sciences.

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Geoff Garrett

Geoffrey Garrett

USC Marshall School of Business

Dr. Geoffrey Garrett joins the University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business as Dean, Robert R. Dockson Dean’s Chair in Business Administration and Professor of Management and Organization.

He becomes the 18th dean of the Marshall School, which is celebrating its centennial year in 2020-21. Garrett assumed the role on July 1, 2020 after six years as Dean of the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

Dr. Garrett rejoins USC, having taught here from 2005-2008 as a professor of international relations, business administration, communications and law while also serving as the President of the Pacific Council on International Policy.

Additionally, Garrett’s previous administrative appointments include service as Dean of the business schools at both the University of Sydney (where he was also founding CEO of the United States Studies Centre) and UNSW Australia, and as founding Dean of the International Institute as well as Vice Provost of International Studies at UCLA.

Dr. Garrett is a member of the board of directors of Park Hotels and Resorts and has served on the advisory boards for the Indian School of Business, the Shanghai Advanced Institute of Finance and the Tsinghua University School of Economics and Management.

A distinguished international political economist, Garrett has held academic appointments at Oxford, Stanford and Yale universities. He is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Social Sciences, a Member of the Council on Foreign Relations, a winner of the Foreign Policy Association Medal and the Advance Global Australian Award.

Dr. Garrett is a LinkedIn Influencer whose blog is widely followed by academic, business and thought leaders. His expertise on world politics, business and the global economy, as well as on and U.S./China relations, is sought after by major media organizations around the world.

Garrett holds a BA (Honors) from the Australian National University, and an MA and Ph.D. from Duke University where he was a Fulbright Scholar.

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Morgan Housel

Morgan Housel

Partner at Collaborative Fund, Author, The Psychology of Money
Former columnist at The Motley Fool and The Wall Street Journal

Morgan Housel is a partner at the Collaborative Fund, a venture capital firm backing young companies that are moving the world forward. Previously, he was a columnist at The Wall Street Journal and an analyst at The Motley Fool. He is a two-time winner of the Best in Business Award from the Society of American Business Editors and Writers and was selected by the Columbia Journalism Review for the Best Business Writing anthology. In 2013 and 2016, he was a finalist for the Gerald Loeb Award and Scripps Howard Award. Using insights from psychology, history, neurology and sociology, Morgan walks audiences through the cognitive biases that cause investors to become their own worst enemies, and explains how understanding your own behavior can be the key to reaching your financial goals. An expert on behavioral finance and investing history, his presentations combine storytelling with the latest research to discuss the current state of financial markets, the investment industry and personal finance. He has authored two books: Everyone Believes It; Most Will Be Wrong and 50 Years in the Making: The Great Recession and Its Aftermath. “Morgan Housel’s explanatory skills are simply superb. Best of the class,” praised the judges of the prestigious Society of American Business Editors and Writers.

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