Ernest James Wilson III, a noted public broadcasting authority and scholar on international communication issues, will succeed Geoffrey Cowan as dean of the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. His term will begin July 1, 2007.
“Dr. Wilson is a recognized authority in communications convergence and its unfolding implications for our world,” said USC Provost C.L. Max Nikias, who made the announcement on behalf of USC President Steven B. Sample. “He has served with distinction on the faculties of the University of Maryland, University of Michigan, and University of Pennsylvania.”
Dr. Wilson is the ranking senior member of the board of directors of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, having been named to the board under President Bill Clinton and re-named by President George W. Bush. In addition, he has been a pioneering author and researcher on the Internet and digital communication in developing countries.
“This is an exciting time for journalism and communication: national borders continue to erode with digital communication and our societies are experiencing accelerated diversification,” Wilson said. “There is now an important opportunity for scholarship and teaching in journalism and communication to help understand the convergence of technology, human initiatives, and institutional relations.
“Under the leadership of Geoffrey Cowan, in the last decade the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism has built a tremendous reputation for insightful research and for convening engaged, enlightened social discourse, and I look forward to working with the faculty, students, alumni and staff to strengthen the school even further. I am very grateful to President Sample and Provost Nikias for naming me to this position.”
Dr. Wilson has served with distinction on the faculties of the University of Maryland, University of Michigan, and University of Pennsylvania. Beyond academia, Wilson has worked at senior levels with a wide array of major organizations, including the White House, Council on Foreign Relations, the World Bank, United Nations, Ford Foundation, U.S. Information Agency, Congressional Black Caucus and the Global Information Infrastructure Commission.
Dr. Wilson is currently a visiting professor at USC Annenberg, where he also serves as a senior fellow at the USC Center on Public Diplomacy. Click here to view a recent presentation by Dr. Wilson, titled “Google’s Foreign Policy: The Shift from Industrial to Post-Industrial.”
Dr. Wilson's scholarship focuses on the politics of global sustainable innovation in high-technology industries; on China-Africa relations; and the role of culture in US national security policy. In 2006 Wilson published Negotiating the Net in Africa and The Politics of Internet Diffusion, co-edited with Kelly Wong. He is also the author of Information Revolution and Developing Countries (2004, MIT Press) and Diversity and U.S. Foreign Policy (2004, Routledge Press).
He is married to Francille Rusan Wilson, Ph.D., a labor historian and intellectual historian. They have two sons.