Deborah Natoli, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor (Teaching) and director of the professional doctorate program at the USC Sol Price School of Public Policy. She teaches research methods, human behavior in organizations, leadership, and conducts teaching seminars.
Dr. Natoli began her career as a public high school social studies and psychology teacher with special assignment to support students from underprivileged communities. During her graduate study at Saint Louis University, she was selected by the Dean of the Graduate School to coordinate the Teaching Resource Center, her charge to work with a team to design and implement an interdisciplinary Future Faculty and Teaching Certificate Program for teaching assistants and pre-tenured professors across all schools and colleges. Ultimately, Deborah was selected to be the founding director of SLU’s Center for Excellence in Teaching.
Returning to the K-12 sector, Deborah worked as an independent school psychotherapist and teacher, directing curriculum oversight and designing an innovative faculty development and evaluation program grounded in her research with teachers-for-teachers. Her theory and model for teacher evaluation with focus on teacher personal and professional growth gained her opportunity for post-doc study with Robert Kegan at the Harvard Graduate School of Education where she connected with Brookline and Newton Public Schools, consulted with district superintendents, observed classroom instruction, and conducted interviews to collect data in Boston and advance her research.
Dr. Natoli first came to USC as the Director of Faculty Development for the Marshall School of Business where she secured grant funding and earned the Dean’s Award for raising student ratings of teaching upon implementation of her research model with university professors. Through the inspiration of Warren Bennis and after collecting life stories through autobiographical interview with people such as Dr. Maya Angelou, Deborah reframed her research to integrate psychodynamic and depth psychology with cognitive and neurosciences to ground a new theory of leadership and framework for leadership development.
Dr. Natoli has offered dozens of presentations from London to Brazil and is currently working on a book, How Leaders Think. Deborah is honored to serve on the Board of Directors for the Saks Institute for Mental Health Law, Policy, and Ethics at the USC Gould School of Law. She served on the Provost’s Mentoring Forum and is a currently a member of USC’s “The Mindful University Project.”