Catherine Burke

Associate Professor Emerita
USC, Sol Price School of Public Policy

Catherine Burke, Ph.D., Associate Professor Emerita, University of Southern California, Sol Price School of Public Policy.  She received her doctorate in Political Science from University of California, Los Angeles with major fields in American Politics, Public Administration and Management (Business School).  She is also a graduate of Cornell University with an AB degree, government major. 

She became interested in the problem of innovation as a doctoral student and was curious as to why the planners and transportation agencies were actively trying to avoid learning about Personal Rapid Transit as then being presented by the Aerospace Corporation.  Later she wrote the book, Innovation and Public Policy:  The Case of Personal Rapid Transit, D.C. Heath and Company, Lexington Books, 1979.  The book is out of print, but can be downloaded free of charge at:

She has been a member of the Advanced Transit Association (ATRA) since its inception and has served on its Board and as President.

Dr. Burke has been a panelist and consultant to the Office of Technology Assessment of the U.S. Congress and a member of the Los Angeles County Economy and Efficiency Commission.  Burke was instrumental in developing the Price School’s metropolitan simulation program.  She has been a consultant to a large public utility (Communications and Computing Services, Regulatory Policy and Affairs, Environmental Health and Safety, and Public Affairs Departments),), cities (Los Angeles and Pasadena) and county (Los Angeles) governments, an international mining and manufacturing firm based in Australia, an ISP (internet service provider), a regimental commander (Colonel) of Royal Engineer Commandos in the British Army as well as several non-profit social service organizations.

Her primary professional focus has been in the fields of organization structures, systems design, leadership and management, as well as issues of innovation.  Recently her focus has been on the issues of climate change and the need to reduce GHG emissions, which has returned her focus on the potential of Automated Transportation Networks to improve urban transportation, freight movement and inter-city travel.  Only by providing public transit, which gives full access to an urban area, will we be able to significant reduce the use of carbon based fuels for automobiles and trucks.  

Her most recent book written with Ian Macdonald and Karl Stewart is Systems Leadership:  Creating Positive Organisations, Gower Publications, Ltd., 2006.