Center director Jeffrey Cole awarded the
2023 Ellis Island Medal of Honor

Cole recognized for “pioneering digital strategies important to the security of the nation,” and “leadership in technology and emerging media.” 

Jeffrey I. Cole, who has tracked the history of media and the future of digital technology for more than 40 years, has received the Ellis Island Medal of Honor for professional contributions to American society.

Cole received the Medal of Honor at the organization’s annual awards ceremony on Ellis Island on May 13.

Cole, the director of the Center for the Digital Future at the USC-Annenberg School of Communications and Journalism, advises governments and leading companies around the world as they craft digital strategies.

Under Cole’s leadership, the Center’s World Internet Project is the longest-running longitudinal study of the effects of digital technology on Americans and in partner countries around the world. The Center has conducted deep examinations of entertainment, sports media, transportation, and banking to identify where the next wave of disruption will occur.

Cole has testified before Congress on television issues and has been a keynote speaker at more than 750 conferences on media and technology. He speaks to more than 100,000 people a year at major conferences around the world.

“Professor Cole’s work in pioneering digital strategies for government organizations and leading companies is important to the security of our nation,” said Nasser J. Kazeminy, chair of the Ellis Island Honors Society. “His leadership in technology and emerging media has not only shaped internet culture, but is also paving the way towards developing best practices on how society and technology will interact. In addition, Mr. Cole is a dedicated teacher and mentor, educating the next generation of internet scientists, developers, and creators of social applications.“

The Ellis Island Medal of Honor

The Ellis Island Honors Society highlights the importance of immigration to America’s prosperity and celebrates the contributions immigrants and their progeny have made to our nation.

In 1986, the Society created the Ellis Island Medals of Honor, which commemorate the spirit of immigrants to the United States during the Ellis Island era. The Medal is presented annually to those who have shown an outstanding commitment to serving the nation professionally, culturally, or civically, including U.S. Presidents, Nobel Laureates, and leaders of industry, education, the arts, sports, and government.

May 26, 2023