Adam Clayton Powell III
Powell III
Senior Fellow, Center on Communication Leadership and Policy

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International Relations
New Media
Public Policy

Center Affiliation

Center on Communication Leadership and Policy

Adam Clayton Powell III is a Senior Fellow at USC Annenberg's Center on Communication Leadership and Policy (CCLP) and a University Fellow at the USC Annenberg Center on Public Diplomacy.  Based in Washington DC, Powell serves as Director of the CCLP/Annenberg Sunnylands Initiative on Mobile Phones and Public Service, working with government and industry to improve cell phones as platforms for public safety, health care and emergency preparedness. 

In addition, Powell coordinates a monthly CCLP Washington DC Communications Leadership lunch forum, which presents programs on pressing issues in public diplomacy. Meeting on the first Monday of every month, these forums are presented in partnership with the Public Diplomacy Council, of which Powell has served as President since 2015.  

Before relocating to Washington, D.C. in 2010, he served as USC's vice provost for globalization, working closely with faculty and deans to advance the university's globalization initiative, while expanding USC's international presence, increasing our leadership role in the Association of Pacific Rim Universities, and promoting the university throughout the world.  Powell previously served as director of the USC Integrated Media Systems Center, the National Science Foundation's Engineering Research Center for multimedia research. 

From 1994 to 2001, Powell helped form and then ran training programs and forums on digital media in Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, and the United States for journalists, media managers, educators, policy makers, and researchers for the Freedom Forum, first as a consultant, then as director, and finally as vice president. He worked on projects in South Africa for the Ford Foundation, as well as projects in Lagos, Nigeria, for the Nigerian Television Authority. He also helped create the annual Highway Africa conference in South Africa, which has become the largest conference in communications and digital media on the African continent.

Prior to joining the USC faculty in 2003, Powell was general manager of WHUT-TV, the nation's first African American-owned public television station. He also was the founding general manager of KMTP-TV in San Francisco, the nation's second African American-owned public television station, which he helped put on the air in 1991. He has also served as an executive producer at Quincy Jones Entertainment; vice president for news and information programming at National Public Radio; manager of network radio and television news for CBS News; and news director of all-news WINS in New York.

Powell is widely published, and many of his writings draw on his significant international experience. He recently contributed a chapter to America's Dialogue with the World and published a book entitled Reinventing Local News: Connecting with Communities Using New Technologies. He has also written for a number of publications, including The New York Times, Wired Magazine, and the Online Journalism Review. 

Powell has won numerous awards, including the 1999 World Technology Award for Media and Journalism, sponsored by The Economist, and the Overseas Press Club Award for international reporting for a series of broadcasts on Iran.



Immersive media
Public Diplomacy
International Broadcasting
Local News on television, radio and the Internet