Maria G. Ott, Ph.D.
Maria Gutierrez Ott earned her PhD at the University of Southern California. She currently holds the Irving R. and Virginia A. Melbo Chair in Education Administration at the USC Rossier School of Education. Dr. Ott served more than 40 years as an educator in K-12 urban systems, including fourteen years as a superintendent and five years as senior deputy superintendent of the Los Angeles Unified School District.
Dr. Ott designed and launched the USC Rossier Urban Superintendents Academy in 2015 in partnership with AASA to prepare diverse and equity-minded leaders for K-12 system leadership. She serves as a member of the Association of Latino Administrators and Superintendents (ALAS) Board of Directors and was honored with the 2021-2022 ALAS Lifetime Achievement Award. She was honored with the USC Rossier Dean’s Superintendents Advisory Group (DSAG) Achievement Award in 2017. Ott is recognized for her leadership and advocacy for bilingual education and programs for English language learners, leadership development for women, and public-private partnerships in education. She is a founding member of the California Association of Latino Superintendents and Administrators (CALSA).
Her work on cultural proficiency is detailed in her book, A Culturally Proficient Society Begins in School: Leadership for Equity, with co-authors Carmella S. Franco and Darline P. Robles. Ott has presented to national audiences on the topic of her book and continues to contribute to the educational literature about the importance of cultural proficiency in closing achievement gaps. A second book on the topic of cultural proficiency is scheduled for publication fall 2022.
As an Associate for HYA, Dr. Maria Gutierrez Ott has served on searches in large urban districts, including Seattle, Los Angeles, and Santa Ana Unified.
- Mt. St. Mary’s University, Los Angeles, BA Major: English, Minor: Spanish
- Mt. St. Mary’s University, Los Angeles, MS Education, Special Education, LH
- University of Southern California School of Education, PhD Education Policy and Administration