Center AffiliationCenter for Public Relations
Daren C. Brabham is an assistant professor at USC Annenberg, and the founding editor of Case Studies in Strategic Communication. He teaches public relations and new media courses and conducts research into online communities and the role of new media in society.
He was the first to publish scholarly research using the word crowdsourcing, which describes an online, distributed problem solving and production model that utilizes the collective intelligence of online communities. A critical, qualitative researcher, his work focuses on the potential of crowdsourcing to serve the public good. One of his current projects explores the possibility for nationally coordinated crowdsourcing and citizen science platforms for public sector needs. Another current project examines the role tech vendors and public engagement consultants - what he calls the consultative layer - play in shaping citizen-government interactions. Brabham is also a member of on the Standing Committee on Health Threats and Workforce Resilience at the National Academy of Medicine, a committee sponsored by the Department of Homeland Security.
Brabham is the author of Crowdsourcing (MIT Press, 2013) and Crowdsourcing in the Public Sector (Georgetown University Press, 2015), as well as several articles and chapters appearing in such publications as Convergence; Planning Theory; Information, Communication & Society; American Journal of Preventive Medicine; New Media & Society; First Monday; International Journal of Communication; Journal of Applied Communication Research; and The Participatory Cultures Handbook. His work on crowdsourcing has been supported by funding from the U.S. Federal Transit Administration, the IBM Center for the Business of Government, and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. A frequent media contributor, he has been interviewed for stories in WIRED magazine, CBS News, the Los Angeles Times, Fast Company, the Financial Times, TIME magazine, and Marketplace on NPR.
He earned an M.S. and Ph.D. in communication from the University of Utah and a B.A. in communication and religion from Trinity University.
Brabham’s professional experience includes user experience design, crowdsourcing consulting, and a broad range of public relations functions for non-profits.
Every summer for the past 16 years, Brabham returns to his native Texas as a volunteer staff member for Texas Boys State, a learn-by-doing government and leadership program for rising high school seniors.