Elizabeth Garrett was the President of Cornell University. Prior to joining Cornell, she was the Frances R. and John J. Duggan Professor of Law, Political Science and Public Policy, and Provost and Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs at the University of Southern California. Her academic expertise was in the legislative process, direct democracy, the federal budget process, the study of democratic institutions, and statutory interpretation. She was co-author of a recent edition of,Cases and Materials on Legislation: Statutes and the Creation of Public Policy(West Publishing 2007), co-editor of Fiscal Challenges: An Interdisciplinary Approach to Budget and Policy (Cambridge University Press 2008), and co-editor of Statutory Interpretation Stories (Thomson Reuters/Foundation Press 2011). Her recent scholarly articles have analyzed campaign finance reform laws, various congressional procedures, and the initiative process. After graduating from the University of Virginia Law School, Garrett clerked for Justice Thurgood Marshall on the Supreme Court and Judge Williams on the Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, and served as legal counsel and legislative assistant for tax, budget, and welfare reform issues for U.S. Senator David L. Boren. Garrett is a fellow of the American Law Institute and a life fellow of the American Bar Foundation. In August 2009, she was appointed as one of five commissioners on the California Fair Political Practices Commission, the state’s independent political oversight agency.
Elizabeth Garrett passed away from colon cancer on March 6, 2016, only eight months after assuming the presidency of Cornell.