Kathleen K. Reardon

  • Board Member and Professor Emeritus, University of Southern California Marshall School of Business


Kathleen has served on the USC faculty of the MBA, Executive MBA and International MBA programs and on the faculty of Preventive Medicine.

She is a leading authority on persuasion and negotiation, leadership, workplace politics and gender issues and has authored ten books and numerous articles published in communication and business journals, including the Harvard Business.She authored the HBR reprint bestseller The Memo Every Woman Keeps in her Desk and Courage as a Skill. The Secret Handshake: Mastering the Politics of the Business Inner Circle, It’s All Politics, and Comebacks at Work are her latest nonfiction books.

She has been a front-page blogger for The Huffington Post and Big Think and now contributes to Thrive Global and Harvard Business Review online.

She served as Director of the University of Southern California Leadership Institute’s Presidential Fellows Program, training graduate students from a wide variety of fields to become socially conscious leaders. She also co-directed the Leadership Institute with founder Warren Bennis and taught leadership and diversity with Betty Friedan.

Reardon was co-principal investigator on the feasibility study that launched the Starlight Foundation, originally headed by Steven Spielberg. The Foundation links critically and terminally ill children and their families to online education, entertainment, social networking and social support. She also originated and co-founded First Star pre-college academies for foster teens, including at URI, now in several states and the UK.

Kathleen is a Phi Beta Kappa, Mortar Board and Phi Kappa Phi graduate of the University of Connecticut and earned her M.A. and Ph.D. summa cum laude and with distinction from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

She is also an oil and watercolor artist and published her first crime mystery, Shadow Campus, in 2013. Forbes described it as a “masterful” and “fast-paced” debut. Her second novel is nearing completion. When not in the U.S., she lives in Schull, West Cork Ireland.

Achievements & Awards

Humanitarian of the Year Award, University of Connecticut, 2013.