email@example.com / (213) 740-1375 / AHF B55E
1981 J.D., Georgetown University, Washington, D.C.
1978 B.A., University of California, Irvine, Linguistics and Russian, summa cum laude
Susan H. Kamei is Managing Director of the Spatial Sciences Institute housed in the University of Southern California Dana and David Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences (USC Dornsife). She directs the Institute's strategic initiatives and its daily administration, including external relations and the development and operations of the Institute's undergraduate and graduate academic programs.
Kamei also created and teaches a course in the USC Dornsife Department of History on the legal ramifications of the World War II incarceration of persons of Japanese ancestry and how those constitutional issues apply to today's considerations of national security and civil liberties. Read the February 19, 2018 Los Angeles Times article on her course HIST 460: War, Race and the Constitution and about her personal connection with this topic. For this course and other ways in which she works with USC students, Kamei was the recipient of the 2018 USC Undergraduate Student Government Community Achievement Award, recognizing her contributions to the USC community and for enriching the educations of students of color and/or LGBTQ students.
Her book When Can I Go Back to America: Voices of Japanese American Incarceration During World War II (Simon & Schuster September 2021) has been hailed as a "landmark historical account. . . on a part of American history that must be remembered" (Kirkus Review, starred review) and as a "truly remarkable, comprehensive resource" on the incarceration (Publishers Weekly, starred review).
Kamei’s expertise is in the creation, development, and operations of innovative educational business models, including undergraduate and graduate degree programs and programs in professional education, life-long learning, and multi-disciplinary learning. She has been a leader at USC in expanding its graduate online programs, in establishing protocols for academic assessment, and enriching the student experience. She coalesces the objectives of university constituents – faculty, students, alumni, administration, and supporters – with those of business, non-profit, and community partners to enrich and further academic missions. She has presented at and participated in conferences such as the annual meeting of the American Association of Geographers, the URISA GIS-Pro Conference, and the U.S. Geospatial Intelligence Foundation GEOINT Symposium.
She serves on the board of directors of URISA (the Urban and Regional Information Systems Association), a nonprofit association for Geographic Information Science (GIS) professionals.
Prior to joining the Institute in September 2013, Kamei held positions as USC Dornsife’s Associate Dean for Advanced and Professional Programs; Director of USC Dornsife’s Master of Liberal Studies Program; Senior Vice President for Global Exchange and Executive Director, Los Angeles District Council, of the Urban Land Institute; and Director for Administrative Affairs and Executive Officer of the USC Lusk Center for Real Estate. While with the USC Lusk Center, she also was Associate Director of and Adjunct Associate Professor with the Master of Real Estate Development Program in the USC School of Policy, Planning, and Development (now the USC Price School of Public Policy). Kamei practiced corporate, real estate, and land use law, serving as regional counsel for Mobil Land Development Corporation and with the international law firm of Paul Hastings.
Kamei has served on the board of directors of A Community of Friends, a nationally-recognized non-profit affordable housing developer for people with special needs (2012-2014), and as vice president/president-elect of the Association of Graduate Liberal Studies Programs (2012-2013). Kamei was recognized for her leadership and service in business, academia, and the community with the “Woman of Courage” Award in 2000 from the Friends of the Los Angeles City Commission on the Status of Women. She is an alumna of the HERS Institute for Women in Higher Education Administration (2009) and Leadership California (2005).