Dr. Karen Gallagher is currently the Veronica and David Hagen Chair in Women’s Leadership and Professor of Education at the University of Southern California Rossier School of Education. She is also a member of the senior research faculty at Rossier; her specialties include equity and empowering women in leadership. Dr. Gallagher holds a doctorate in philosophy with a specialty in educational leadership and administration from Purdue University. She was also the dean at Rossier, and the first woman to hold that title. During her position, which ended in June 2020, Dr. Gallagher redesigned the Educational Leadership program and launched Ednovate, a network of public charter high schools with a 99% college acceptance rate. During her deanship in 2012, Dr. Gallagher also opened USC Hybrid High School.
Gallagher is passionate about helping women gain leadership positions, especially in the education sector where she acknowledges there is an imbalance of gender with a heavy focus on female teachers and males holding administrative and leadership roles at the district level. In 2013 she was awarded the Provost’s Prize for Innovation in Educational Practice.