Catherine Burke


Ph.D., Professor Emeritus, USC School of Policy, Planning and Development

Catherine Burke, Ph.D., is currently an Associate Professor at the University of Southern California School of Policy, Planning and Development. She received her doctorate in Political Science from University of California, L.A. with a focus on American Politics, Public Administration and Management.

She is also a graduate of Cornell University with an AB degree. She became interested in the problem of innovation as a doctoral student and was curious as to why the planners and transportation agencies were actively trying to avoid learning about PRT as then being presented by the Aerospace Corporation. Later she wrote the book, Innovation and Public Policy: The Case of Personal Rapid Transit, D.C. Heath and Company, Lexington Books, 1979.

Dr. Burke was a founding member of ATRA since its inception, has served on its Board and was elected President in 2002-2003. She has also served a panelist and consultant to the Office of Technology Assessment of the U.S. Congress and was a member of the Los Angeles County Economy and Efficiency Commission. Catherine was instrumental in developing the L.A. School of Policy, Planning and Development’s metropolitan simulation program. Although her primary professional focus is now in the fields of organization and systems design, and management, she continues to work to gain the adoption of Personal Rapid Transit as the next improvement in urban transportation following the automobile.

In sum, Catherine researches organizational design, management theory, and systems, including the application of Stratified Systems and Systems Leadership Theories. She is also interested in the study of political and administrative roles, democratic theory and the role of the citizens, innovation, and urban government.