University of South Florida


USF Presidential Search Committee

The USF Presidential Search Committee conducted presidential candidate interviews on March 4.

Two candidates for USF president advance to next steps in the search process

Two candidates seeking to become the eighth president in University of South Florida history are moving forward in the search process. The USF Presidential Search Committee interviewed Interim President Rhea Law and Jeffrey Talley and voted to advance both candidates to the next round, which includes visits on each of USF’s three campuses, followed by interviews with the USF Board of Trustees (BOT). 

The campus visits will give the USF community an opportunity to interact with each candidate, share ideas and ask questions.  The visits will take place on Monday, March 21, at the following times and locations: 

9-10 a.m.

Sarasota-Manatee campus, Selby Auditorium: Rhea Law

Tampa campus, Traditions Hall, at the Gibbons Alumni Center: Jeffrey Talley

11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

St. Petersburg campus, University Student Center Ballroom: Rhea Law

Sarasota-Manatee campus, Selby Auditorium: Jeffrey Talley

2-3 p.m.

Tampa campus, Traditions Hall, at the Gibbons Alumni Center: Rhea Law

St. Petersburg campus, University Student Center Ballroom: Jeffrey Talley

Participants are invited to submit questions online ahead of the sessions through the USF Presidential Search website. Questions will also be solicited during the sessions from in-person participants.

Following each campus visit, participants will have the opportunity to share feedback online through the USF Presidential Search website. This feedback will be reviewed by the USF Board of Trustees prior to interviewing the candidates at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, March 22, in Traditions Hall, at the Gibbons Alumni Center on the Tampa campus. The Board will evaluate the candidates and may then name the next president, subject to confirmation by the Florida Board of Governors.

The campus visits and the candidate interviews will also be livestreamed on the USF Presidential Search website.

Below are bios for each candidate:

Rhea Law

Rhea Law

Rhea Law’s leadership experiences and qualifications are numerous and diverse. A USF alumna, she is the former chief executive officer and chair of the board of Fowler White Boggs, a Florida law firm. She led the merger of Fowler with a national firm, Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney, in 2014. She is one of the founding members of the USF Board of Trustees, where she spent five years as vice chair and four years as the first and only female chair.

She is also a founding member of the Board of Directors of the USF Law Alumni Society, served as a member of the USF Research Foundation Board and was named a 2018 Distinguished Alumna by the USF Alumni Association. She chaired the Board of Directors for the Health Professions Conferencing Corporation with the USF Center for Advanced Medical Learning and Simulation (CAMLS). In 2018 she was inducted as an honorary member of the USF Chapter of the National Academy of Inventors in recognition of her support of research and innovation at USF. In 2013, she was granted an Honorary Doctor of Medicine Degree from the USF Morsani College of Medicine. She formerly served on the Board of Directors for the Tampa Bay Technology Forum and the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute Board of Directors and currently serves on Moffitt’s National Advisory Board.

Law earned her undergraduate degree in management from USF, putting herself through school while working as the university research project administrator for the Office of Sponsored Research. She then earned her terminal degree in law at Stetson University College of Law, where she later served as chair of their Board of Overseers, helping to select both a dean of the College of Law and president of the university.

Jeff Talley

Jeffrey Talley

Jeffrey Talley is a senior executive with experience in military, academic, corporate and government positions. He has experience in large-scale organizations, public-private partnerships, national and cybersecurity, environmental and energy sustainability, disaster emergency management, infrastructure resilience, data analytics and technology, R&D and higher education.

He currently serves as a member of the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition based in Washington D.C., an organization that works to strengthen tools of national security. He also serves as president and CEO of The Public Private Partnership Initiatives (P3i) Group, a management consulting firm for government, business, not-for-profit and academia. His military career included duty in the United States, Korea, Kuwait and Iraq. His service culminated in 2012 when he was appointed to the rank of lieutenant general and to a four-year term as the 32nd chief of Army Reserve and seventh commanding general of the U.S. Army Reserve Command – an organization of over 215,000 soldiers and civilians and 134 general officers and executives, with an annual operating budget of $9 billion, and activities in over 30 countries, including all states and territories. He has received numerous medals and awards, including two Army Distinguished Medals and three Bronze Star Medals. He retired from the military in 2016 and was recognized by the U.S. Senate on June 28, 2016, with "Tribute to Lieutenant General Jeffrey W. Talley", as reflected in the congressional record.

Talley holds a Ph.D. (Civil and Environmental Engineering) from Carnegie Mellon University, an Executive M.B.A. from the University of Oxford, an M.S.E. (Environmental Engineering and Science) from The Johns Hopkins University, an M.L.A. (Liberal Arts – History/Philosophy) from Washington University in St. Louis, an M.S.S. (Strategic Studies) from the U.S. Army War College, an M.A. (Religious Studies) from Assumption College, and a B.S. (Forestry - Natural Resource Management) from Louisiana State University. He is a registered Professional Engineer (P.E.), a Board-Certified Environmental Engineer (BCEE) in Sustainability, and a Diplomate, Water Resources Engineer (D.WRE).

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