Thomas S. Sayles
Senior Vice President, University Relations
Thomas S. Sayles was appointed senior vice president for university relations effective July 1, 2011. In this capacity, he provides strategic direction and leadership for USC’s government and public relations, outreach and reputation.
From March 2009 until July 2011, Sayles served as vice president for government and civic engagement. He continues to oversee the university’s civic-engagement and government-relations enterprise as well as efforts to strengthen USC’s relationships with external stakeholders.
Previously, Sayles practiced law in the private and public sectors. He left the practice of law to serve as California’s commissioner of corporations and later as secretary of business, transportation and housing. He then returned to the private sector to work for many years for Sempra Energy as vice president of government and community affairs and as senior vice president of consumer marketing. Immediately prior to joining USC, Sayles was senior vice president for government affairs and corporate communications at Rentech, Inc., an alternative fuels company headquartered in Los Angeles.
In July 2009, he was appointed by Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa to the governing board of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, and served as Board President until August of 2013.
In 2013, Sayles was appointed to the “Los Angeles 2020 Commission” an independent 12-member panel that will review Los Angeles’ financial and develop strategies for job creation, and the elimination of the city’s projected budget deficit.
Sayles also has been appointed by three different California governors to serve on boards and commissions, including the University of California Board of Regents and the California Community Colleges Board of Trustees.
Sayles currently is a member of the board of directors of Unified Grocers, the largest buying cooperative for independent grocers in the Western United States. He previously served on the boards of directors of Golden State Bancorp (California Federal Bank) and Glendale Federal Bank.
Born and raised in South Los Angeles, not far from USC’s University Park campus, Sayles earned a law degree from Harvard Law School and a bachelor’s degree “with distinction” from Stanford University, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa.
President, USC Radio
Brenda K. Maceo
Vice President, Public Relations and Marketing
Vice President, Government Relations
Craig S. Keys
Associate Senior Vice President, Civic Engagement
Associate Vice Provost for Community Research Initiatives
Senior Administrative Director
Last Updated: 07/1/13