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Science Matters

Geoffrey Cowan, LL.B. (moderator)

Dean, Annenberg School for Communication, University of Southern California

B.A., Harvard College

L.L.B., Yale Law School

Mr. Cowan is a professor of journalism and law in Annenberg’s School of Journalism and holds a joint appointment in the USC Law School. He is an Emmy Award-winning television producer and is the author of several books – including The People v. Clarence Darrow: The Bribery Trial of America’s Greatest Lawyer. He served as director of the Voice of America from 1994 to 1996, leading an international newsgathering and broadcasting agency with 25 news bureaus that produced more than 900 hours of weekly original programming in English and 46 other languages. In 1996, Mr. Cowan became associate director of the United States Information Agency and director of the International Broadcasting Bureau. Prior to this, he was founding director of the Center for Communication Policy at UCLA, where he taught communication law and policy from 1972 to 1993. He co-founded the nation’s first public interest law firm, and chaired the Los Angeles commission that authored the city’s tough new ethics code. From 1979 to 1984 he was a member of the board of directors of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Since his appointment as Dean at USC in 1997, Mr. Cowan has launched a series of major research initiatives in communication and journalism, exploring technology, entertainment, public interest and globalization. His current civic activities include serving on the boards of Children Now, and Common Sense Media; and memberships in the Council on Foreign Relations and the Pacific Council.

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