Cornell University Announces Elizabeth Garrett As First Female President

Elizabeth Garrett will become the first female president of Cornell University, the Ivy League institution announced Tuesday.

The Cornell Board of Trustees approved Garrett, currently a provost at the University of Southern California, to take over the position of president, replacing David Skorton, who is stepping down to lead the Smithsonian Institution.

Garrett will assume her role in charge of the Ithaca, New York university on July 1, 2015.

The USC administrator and law professor Garrett will take the helm of Cornell as it turns 150 and expands into New York City with a technology campus.

Garrett got her bachelor's degree at the University of Oklahoma and studied law at the University of Virginia, according to Bloomberg, and she also clerked for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall.

Garrett also taught law at the University of Chicago, where she was a deputy dean for academic affairs, and was a member of President George W. Bush's Advisory Panel on Federal Tax Reform in 2005.

Skorton was a popular president at Cornell, and one of the more publicly engaged higher ed leaders. He communicated with students on sensitive topics like sexual assault and mental health and suicide.