Geoffrey Cowan

University Professor and Director, USC Annenberg’s Center on Communication Leadership and Policy

An award-winning educator, government official, best-selling author, playwright, and Emmy Award-winning producer, Geoffrey Cowan is the Dean Emeritus of the Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism and Director of the Annenberg Center of Communication Leadership & Policy at the University of Southern California. He also holds the Annenberg Family Chair in Communication Leadership and is one of the 21 University Professors at USC.

His publications include The People v. Clarence Darrow: The Bribery Trial of America's Greatest Lawyer, which was praised in the Wall Street Journal as the best book ever written about a trial lawyer, and (with the late Leroy Aarons), Top Secret: The Battle for the Pentagon Papers, which has been performed around the United States and had two three-week runs in China. His widely praised book Let the People Rule: Theodore Roosevelt and the Birth of the Presidential Primary (W.W. Norton & Co.), which was released in January 2016.

During the administration of President Bill Clinton, Professor Cowan headed the Voice of America. Then, from 2010 to 2016, Professor Cowan served as the inaugural President of the Annenberg Foundation Trust at Sunnylands, where he hosted three presidential summits, including the historic meeting in 2013 between President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping of China. A graduate of Harvard College and Yale Law School, Cowan is married to Aileen Adams, and they have two children, Gabriel Cowan and Mandy Wolf.