Dr. Mary J. Wardell-Ghirarduzzi – 2013 Top 100 Under 50 Executive Leader


Dr. Mary J. Wardell-Ghirarduzzi, PhD

Vice Provost for Diversity Engagement and Community Outreach
University of San Francisco

Dr. Mary J. Wardell-Ghirarduzzi has worked in various roles in higher education administration for the past 18 years and is currently the Dean of Student Affairs at the University of San Francisco. Working with faculty, staff and students, and with members of diverse communities in San Francisco Bay, she encourages an understanding of diversity as a vital to the success of a higher education organization. From 2008 through 2011 Mary served as the University of San Francisco’s dean of students. She is currently an adjunct professor and teaches organizational behavior, leadership, and communication to graduate and undergraduate business students in USF’s School of Management.
Prior to USF, Mary was the dean of student affairs at Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles, overseeing all student affairs programs and academic support services. She worked with children of migrant families, and first-generation college bound African American, Native American, Pacific Islander and Latino students, as an outreach coordinator for California State University at San Marcos. Mary earned a BA in Communication from the University of the Pacific in Stockton, California, her hometown; a MA in Cross Cultural Counseling from San Diego State University; and a doctorate in Organizational Leadership from Pepperdine University in Los Angeles. Her research interest and professional practice focuses on transformational leadership within organizations and women in leadership. Mary has an avid love for the arts and is a vocalist and photographer.


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