Associate Senior Vice President, USC Educational Partnerships

USC University Relations


Kim Thomas-Barrios is Associate Senior Vice President of USC Educational Partnerships, USC University Relations and has been involved in the arena of education for over 37 years. She began her career as a secondary science teacher at middle and high schools in the Los Angeles School District, has led science departments, K-9 and opened a new magnet high school-the LAUSD/USC Math, Science and Technology Magnet High School. In 1998, Kim became a field director and lead consultant for the Urban Learning Centers – an educational reform design team working across the United States under the auspices of Los Angeles Educational Partnership.

In 2002, Kim was hired to direct the USC Leslie and William McMorrow Neighborhood Academic Initiative (USC McMorrow NAI), which she still manages within the portfolio of Educational Partnerships. The USC McMorrow NAI is a well-developed college access and success program in the USC neighborhoods of south and east Los Angeles where USC’s two major campuses resides. Neighborhood students who attend partner schools in the community are eligible for this program beginning in the 6th grade. Students (scholars) who complete the 7-year program and who are accepted to USC as freshmen or transfer students are eligible for a fully funded financial aid package minus loans. Since its first graduating class in 1997, over 1100 scholars have graduated the program and received acceptance to college. Over 80% start as a freshman in a four-year college and 41% have attended USC as a freshman or as a transfer student.

In addition to the USC McMorrow NAI, Kim manages the USC Family of Schools programming, the USC Community Computing Center, the USC Kid Watch program, the USC Kinder2College program, the USC Science Equipment Loan Program, and other outreach initiatives between USC and the immediate community. Kim was also Board Chair for 10 years and now transitioning after 5 years as Co-chair of the Southern California College Access Network – a network of over 80 college access and success programs in Southern California.