Mercy Willard was named Executive Director of the USC Latino Alumni Association in 2016. She joined the Trojan family after having spent 16 years in the nonprofit health sector with the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and the American Diabetes Association. Her work focused on community partnerships, volunteer management, fundraising, and program development for underserved populations with an emphasis on the Latino community and those living with a disability. She also served as liaison for diversity and inclusion for the West Region.
She earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology from the University of California, Los Angeles and a master’s degree in nonprofit management from Regis University. She became a USC alumna in 2021, when she earned her doctorate in Educational Leadership. Her research focused on the impact of academic scholarships on the persistence of first-generation low-income Latino students attending public universities. Mercy is also an alumna of CORO Health Leadership Fellowship Program.