Renee Almassizadeh is Assistant Director for Operations and Programming at the USC Center on Public Diplomacy. At CPD, she manages program planning and implementation to ensure the Center’s smooth operations and to meet its evolving needs. Renee provides strategic program management and works closely with other functions at CPD to build relationships with leaders and organizations in the public diplomacy community. She serves as the key resource and point of contact for internal and external partners, administers the Center’s operations and processes, manages CPD's training programs, and provides leadership and guidance to staff and non-staff workers.
Prior to her role at CPD, Renee worked in higher education administration, translational research, social science research, international development, and arts consulting. Her most recent role was with USC Dornsife’s Department of Middle East Studies where she served as the senior administrator of the department. She managed curricular and faculty affairs, day-to-day operations of the department, marketing of the academic programs, departmental alumni outreach efforts, departmental communications, staff supervision, and the department’s budget. Renee was awarded a USC Dornsife Outstanding Staff Achievement award in 2017.
She holds an M.A. in Arab Studies from Georgetown University, where she received a grant to study Arabic in Tangier, Morocco from the U.S. Information Agency, a staunch supporter of public diplomacy through cultural exchange. She also holds a B.A. in Middle Eastern Studies from the University of California at San Diego. While at UCSD, Renee spent a summer working on an archeological dig in Caesarea, Israel and studied abroad at American University of Paris.
Renee is passionate about organizational culture, relationship building, well-being, and DE&I. In addition to her role at CPD, Renee is a member of the USC Working Group on University Culture and the USC Healthy Campus Advisory Committee and serves as a USC Culture Facilitator and a Race+Equity+Wellbeing Facilitator.