Throughout his career, Geoffrey Cowan has been an important force across a spectrum of communication and public policy arenas - as a lawyer, academic administrator, government official, best-selling author, distinguished professor, playwright, and Emmy Award-winning producer.
In 2010, the trustees of The Annenberg Foundation Trust at Sunnylands appointed Cowan to serve as the first president of the Trust. He will carry on the Annenberg legacy by developing Sunnylands into a world-class venue for important retreats for top government officials and leaders in the fields of law, education, philanthropy, the arts, culture, science and medicine.
From 1996-2007, he served as dean of the University of Southern California's Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism. In 2007, he was named a University Professor (one of 21 at the university), the inaugural holder of the Annenberg Family Chair in Communication Leadership and director of USC Annenberg's Center on Communication Leadership and Policy. He holds a joint appointment in the USC Gould School of Law and teaches courses in communication and journalism.
At USC Annenberg, he launched new academic programs in public diplomacy, specialized journalism, strategic public relations, global communication and online communities. He is a successful fundraiser and established the first endowed faculty chairs at the school. He launched and remains involved with major USC Annenberg centers and projects, including the USC Center on Public Diplomacy, The Norman Lear Center, Charles Annenberg Weingarten Program on Online Communities, Knight Digital Media Center and the USC Annenberg School Center for the Digital Future.
Prior to becoming dean, President Clinton appointed Cowan to serve the nation as the director of the Voice of America. He served as the 22nd director of the VOA, the international broadcasting service of the U.S. Information Agency. He also served as associate director of the USIA and as director of the International Broadcasting Bureau, with responsibility for WORLDNET TV and Radio & TV Marti as well as VOA.
From 1979-84, he was a member of the Board of Directors of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and played a key role in the development of National Public Radio.
An award-winning author, Cowan's books include: See No Evil: The Backstage Battle Over Sex and Violence on Television (Simon & Schuster, 1980), and the best-selling The People v. Clarence Darrow: The Bribery Trial of America's Greatest Lawyer (Random House, 1993).
In addition to his tenure at USC, Cowan spent twenty years as a professor of communication law and policy at UCLA, where he received numerous teaching awards and founded the Center for Communication Policy.
Concurrently with his teaching at UCLA, Cowan was a television producer. He won an Emmy as executive producer of the television movie Mark Twain & Me, which was voted Outstanding Prime Time Program for Children by the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.
With the late Leroy Aarons, Cowan co-wrote the award-winning play, Top Secret: The Battle for the Pentagon Papers, which explores the delicate balance between the press, public's right to know and the government's need to protect some vital national secrets. Called an "engaging," "splendidly nuanced" and "crackling drama" by reviewers, Top Secret was presented Off-Broadway by New York Theatre Workshop in the 2010 season and was produced in 25 venues across the country during a national tour in the 2007-2008 season.
When the City of Los Angeles sought to create an ethics code in 1989, Mayor Tom Bradley tapped Cowan to chair the Los Angeles commission that drafted a law that become a model for the nation - and for which he was awarded "Man of the Year" by the Council of Government Ethics Leaders. He chaired the California Bipartisan Commission on Internet Political Practices and served on the White House Fellows regional selection committee during the Clinton and Bush administrations.
Cowan serves on the board of the California HealthCare Foundation, the Pacific Council on International Policy, Common Sense Media, and the Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the Walter Lippmann Fellow of the Academy of Political and Social Science.
He spent four years as principal owner of the Stockton Ports, a Class A farm team for the Milwaukee Brewers. During that time the Ports won two championships and held the best overall record of any team in professional baseball.
A graduate of Harvard College and Yale Law School, Cowan is married to Aileen Adams, deputy mayor of Los Angeles and former Secretary of State and Consumer Affairs for the State of California. They have two children, Gabriel Cowan, a filmmaker based in Los Angeles, and Mandy Adams Wolf, a grade school teacher who lives with her husband in Los Angeles.
Ernest James Wilson III
Ernest James Wilson III, Ph.D., is Walter Annenberg Chair in Communication and dean of the Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism at the University of Southern California. He is also a professor of political science, a faculty fellow at the USC Center on Public Diplomacy at the Annenberg School, a member of the board of the Pacific Council on International Policy, and a member of the National Academies' Computer Science and Telecommunications Board. He served on the board of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting from 2000 to 2010, the last year as chairman.
Dean Wilson's experience at the intersection of communication and public policy spans the private and public sectors. He has served as a consultant to international agencies such as the World Bank and the United Nations, worked in government at the White House National Security Council and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, and led research centers and academic departments at premier institutions of higher education.
With an academic focus on the convergence of communication and information technology, public policy, and the public interest, Dean Wilson is a student of the "information champions," the leaders of the information revolution around the world. His current work concentrates on China-Africa relations, global sustainable innovation in high-technology industries, and the role of politics in the diffusion of information and communication technologies.
In addition to his most recent books - Governing Global Electronic Networks and Negotiating the Net: The Politics of Internet Diffusion in Africa - Dr. Wilson co-edits the MIT Press series The Information Revolution and Global Politics and the journal Information Technologies and International Development.
Nominated by President Clinton in 2000, Dean Wilson served on the board of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting until November 2010. He founded the board's New Digital Media Committee and Public Awareness Initiative Committee. He is a member of the Carnegie-Knight Commission on the Future of Journalism Education and The National Academies Board on Research Data and Information. He was deputy director of the Global Information Infrastructure Commission from 1994 to 1995.
Dean Wilson's other government experience includes service as director of International Programs and Resources on the National Security Council at the White House (1993-94) and director of the Policy and Planning Unit, Office of the Director, U.S. Information Agency (1994). He advised President Obama's transition team on matters of communication technology and public diplomacy.
Formerly a professor and senior research scholar at the University of Maryland, College Park, Dean Wilson was director of that university's Center for International Development and Conflict Management from 1995 to 2002. He previously served on the faculties of the University of Michigan and the University of Pennsylvania.
Dean Wilson is the recipient of numerous research fellowships and awards, including the Distinguished Scholar Award from the International Communication section of the ISA, an International Affairs Fellowship from the Council on Foreign Relations and a postdoctoral fellowship at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. He serves on the editoral advisory board for Demand Media, a leader in online content creation and social media.
Originally from Washington, D.C., Dean Wilson earned a Ph.D. and M.A. in political science from the University of California, Berkeley, and a B.A. from Harvard College. He is married to Francille Rusan Wilson, Ph.D., a labor and intellectual historian. They have two sons.
Michael Delli Carpini
Michael X. Delli Carpini, Ph.D. is Walter H. Annenberg Dean and Professor of Communication at the Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania.
Dr. Delli Carpini's research explores the role of the citizen in American politics, with particular emphasis on the impact of the mass media on public opinion, political knowledge and political participation. He is author (with Bruce Williams) of After Broadcast News: Media Regimes, Democracy, and the New Information Environment (Cambridge, 2011), as well as numerous articles, essays and edited volumes on political communications, public opinion and political socialization. Among his many awards is the Murray Edelman Distinguished Career Award from the Political Communication Division of the American Political Science Association.
Dr. Delli Carpini received his B.A. and M.A. from the University of Pennsylvania (1975) and his Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota (1980). Prior to joining the University of Pennsylvania faculty in July of 2003, Dean Delli Carpini was Director of the Public Policy program of the Pew Charitable Trusts (1999-2003), and member of the Political Science Department at Barnard College and graduate faculty of Columbia University (1987-2002), serving as chair of the Barnard department from 1995 to 1999. Delli Carpini began his academic career as an Assistant Professor in the Political Science Department at Rutgers University (1980-1987).
The Project has issued more than 300 reports based on its surveys that examine people's online activities and the internet's role in their lives. Lee is a co-author of Up for Grabs, Hopes and Fears, Ubiquity, Mobility, Security, and Challenges and Opportunities -- a series of books about the future of the internet. He is also co-authoring a book for MIT Press about the social impact of technology with sociologist Barry Wellman that will be published in early 2012. The working title is Networked: The New Social Operating System.
Prior to launching the Pew Internet Project, Lee was managing editor of U.S. News & World Report. He is a graduate of Harvard University and has a master's degree in political science from Long Island University.
Lucy Bernholz, Ph.D. is a philanthropy wonk. She is trying to understand how we create, fund, and distribute shared social goods in the digital age - what she calls the future of good. She writes extensively on philanthropy, technology, information, and policy on her blog, philanthropy2173.com. Her writing led Fast Company to choose the site as one of its "Best Blogs" and The Huffington Post named her a "game changer" for her ideas about the future of philanthropy.
She is a visiting scholar at the Stanford University Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society, a Fellow with the Hybrid Reality Institute and former Fellow of the New America Foundation. She serves on the Board of Directors of the Craigslist Foundation and advisory boards to several national and international research centers. She is a frequent conference speaker and media source and has been quoted in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, The Economic Times of India and on NPR. She has written numerous articles and books about the business of giving, including Creating Philanthropic Capital Markets: The Deliberate Evolution. She has a B.A. from Yale University, where she also played field hockey and captained the lacrosse team, and an M.A. and Ph.D. from Stanford University.
Marta Tellado is Vice President for Communications at the Ford Foundation. She is responsible for directing Ford's global communications, government relations, and public affairs. Before that, she spent more than 16 years in Washington, D.C., working with policymakers, nonprofits, and research organizations on public policy, organizational management, and strategic communications. She served as director of national issues and outreach to former U.S. Senator Bill Bradley and as senior adviser on social policy during his presidential campaign. She serves on the board of the Latino International Theater Festival of New York and the advisory board of the Institute for Global Economic Development.
In January 2009 Debra Jacobs became President of The Patterson Foundation, based in Sarasota, Florida. The focus and work of The Patterson Foundation revolves around building connective tissue through strategic initiatives to create new realities. In December 31, 2008, Debra transitioned from the William G. Selby Foundation, based in Sarasota, Florida. As President of the Selby Foundation, Debra Jacobs was responsible for working with the community and trustees of the Foundation to enhance the quality of life in the area in arts, education, human services, natural sciences and environment. By investing in local capital projects and working with both public and private entities, the Selby Foundation was able to reach out and look beyond what is and enable change for what could be. In addition to the Selby Foundation, Debra was responsible for the administration of eight other foundations. Annually the nine foundations granted a total of over $8 million.
Prior to joining the Selby Foundation in May 1998, Debra was the Vice President for Institutional Advancement for Ringling College of Art and Design. In the fifteen months she was at the college, Debra was responsible for admissions, alumni relations, career services, the design center, development, financial aid and marketing. Debra came to this position after 11 years as Executive Vice President for SunTrust Bank, Gulf Coast. Prior to joining SunTrust in December 1985, she was Senior Vice President and Retail Division Administrator of Central Trust Company in Rochester, New York.
Debra received her undergraduate degree summa cum laude from Utica College of Syracuse University in 1971 and earned her MBA in 1981 from the University of Rochester. In 1986 she graduated from the Stonier Graduate School of Banking.
Debra is one of the founders of SCOPE (Sarasota County Openly Plans for Excellence) and works behind the scenes to help the community achieve its potential. She was the coach for Citizens for Better Schools passing a millage in property tax for the Sarasota County School District in 2002. She is past chairman of the Board of Directors for the Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce, Sarasota County Committee of 100 and the Community Housing Corporation. She has served on the boards of the Sarasota Family YMCA, Sarasota University Club, and the School to Work Consortium. She has also served on the boards of the Sarasota Opera Association and REAL (Responsible and Enlightened Advocacy through Leadership). By the Sarasota County Commission's appointment, she served on the County's Economic Development Board. By the Governor's appointment, Debra served as a lay member of the Judicial Nominating Committee, Second Appellate District Court of Appeal. She was president/chairman of the 1997 PennyWise Committee, Florida Symphonic Band and Sarasota/Manatee Chapter of the National Society to Prevent Blindness. She is a 1992 graduate of Leadership Florida and a 1987 graduate of Leadership Sarasota. Debra co-chaired Decision 2008, the Florida Presidential Primary debate.
Debra was an instructor at the American Bankers Association's Stonier Graduate School of Banking and was a member of the Advisory Board. She was Co-Dean and an instructor at SunTrust University's Branch Management Academy. She is a past faculty member of the Florida Bankers Association's School of Banking. Debra has assisted groups as diverse as the Sarasota County Bar Association to the Manatee Community Foundation in developing their strategic plans. She was co-chair of the Program Committee for the 2003 Annual Meeting of the Southeastern Council of Foundations (SECF) and is Past Chair of the SECF board. Debra has been Vice Chair of The ELCA Foundation and served on the executive committee of the Augsburg Fortress Publishing House and the church-wide reorganization LIFT task force of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA).
Matt James is The Center for the Next Generation's President. He was an integral part of the Kaiser Family Foundation's leadership team for 20 years. At Kaiser, Matt helped develop ground-breaking public education projects in partnership with national and international media companies, and helped launch the highly regarded nonprofit health news service, Kaiser Health News. Prior to joining Kaiser, he worked in national politics as a senior aide to Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, Senator Dale Bumpers, and Representative Morris K. Udall. Matt was appointed by President Clinton to the board of the Morris K. Udall Foundation, is past-chairman of the Lucile Packard Foundation for Children's Health and currently serves on the President's Advisory Board of the National Wildlife Federation and on the board of the CDC Foundation.
Michael D. Smith
Michael D. Smith is Senior Vice President for Social Innovation at the Case Foundation in Washington, DC. Michael works with the Chairman, CEO and senior leadership team to set the programmatic direction of the Foundation and manages a portfolio of social investments and partnerships designed to spark civic participation, promote participatory philanthropy and expand giving.
Michael's current major areas of focus include leading the Foundation's efforts to tap "citizen-centered" approaches to civic engagement and philanthropy through initiatives such as Make It Your Own and America's Giving Challenge; promoting economic and educational development in the Middle East through public-private partnerships such as the U.S.-Palestinian Partnership and Partners for a New Beginning and managing the Foundation's Washington, DC social investment portfolio, which includes high impact organizations such as Venture Philanthropy Partners and City Year Washington, DC.
Before joining the Case Foundation, Michael helped build national initiatives aimed at bridging the "digital divide" as a Program Officer at the Beaumont Foundation of America and a Regional Program Manager at PowerUP: Bridging the Digital Divide, Inc., which led to the creation of thousands of technology centers nationwide and impact-oriented programs. Michael has also served as a senior program and communications staff member at a Massachusetts Boys & Girls Club, was an aide to U.S. Congressman Richard E. Neal and has a B.A. in Communications from Marymount University.
In addition to serving on many industry taskforces and providing frequent thought leadership for sector publications and convenings, Michael is currently on the boards of Philanthropy for Active Civic Engagement (PACE), Idealist.org and Public Allies.
Mayur Patel joined Knight Foundation in 2009. As vice president of strategy and assessment, he is responsible for aiding ongoing strategy development, strengthening research and knowledge management capabilities and assessing the impact and effectiveness of the foundation’s efforts.
Patel was previously a project associate with the Global Economic Governance Programme at the University of Oxford, involved in research on international institutions and economic affairs, and a fellow with the World Trade Organization in Geneva. He has served as a consultant to Oxfam's offices in Kenya and the UK, and as a trade and investment policy adviser to Realizing Rights, an NGO based in New York. He has previously worked with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Zimbabwe, his home country, on issues of civic engagement and parliamentary support.
Mary Lou Fulton
Mary Lou Fulton is a Senior Program Manager at The California Endowment, the state's largest health-focused foundation where she plays a lead role in grant-making to traditional, community and youth media, as well as the foundation's statewide Health Happens in Schools education policy team. She moved to the foundation world in 2009 after a 20-year career in print journalism and digital media. Fulton started out as a print journalist, working as a reporter for the Associated Press and then as a reporter and editor at The Los Angeles Times. She moved to the online world in 1995, and held senior leadership positions at washingtonpost.com, AOL, GeoCities and HomePage.com. A native of Yuma, Arizona, and a second-generation Mexican-American, Fulton holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from Arizona State University and a Master of Public Administration degree from Harvard's Kennedy School of Government.
Jeff Stanger is the founding director of the Center for Digital Information. Before starting CDI, Stanger was an award-winning Internet consultant and developer through his firm NetCampaign, a Washington, DC-based web development and strategy firm widely recognized for its pioneering use of the Internet in politics, advocacy and research dissemination. Prior to starting NetCampaign, Stanger was Washington Director of the Annenberg Public Policy Center, a nationally recognized policy think tank.
Stanger's tenure at NetCampaign involved work on over fifty websites, including those for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's national Cover the Uninsured initiative, the Pew Research Center, the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, Pew Hispanic Center, Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, the Pew Global Attitudes Project, the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, Robert Wood Johnson's Covering Kids initiative, the Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth, the Trust for America's Health, National Institute for Early Education Research, Student Voices, the Pew Commission on Children in Foster Care, Home at Last, Baylor International Pediatric AIDS Initiative, and many others.
NetCampaign received numerous awards for its work, including five Golden Dot Awards from the Graduate School of Political Management, an honorable mention Pollie Award for Best Overall Internet Campaign in 2000 from the American Association of Political Consultants, and a series of Galaxy, Mercury and iNova awards for web development.
As Washington Director of the Annenberg Public Policy Center, where he directed and conducted research on political advertising, children's television and other media issues. As Director, he also oversaw press and public relations for the Center's Washington office. His research has been cited by the Washington Post, New York Times, Los Angeles Times, USA Today, Time Magazine, U.S. News & World Report, National Journal, NBC, CBS, ABC, CNN, National Public Radio, Roll Call, Variety, Broadcasting & Cable, and others. He has been quoted in several major publications, including the Los Angeles Times, USA Today, Philadelphia Inquirer, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and others on the topics of political advertising, campaign finance, and public opinion of children's television. His research on issue advertising was cited in House and Senate debate on campaign finance reform legislation. He has appeared on NBC, CNN, C-SPAN, CBC and as a guest on numerous national, local and syndicated radio programs.
Stanger holds a master's degree from the University of Pennsylvania's Annenberg School for Communication and a bachelor's degree from UCLA. He lives with his wife and two daughters in Washington, D.C.