Center Leadership

Jeffrey Cole, Founder and Director
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Jeffrey Cole has been at the forefront of media and communication technology issues both in the United States and internationally for the past three decades. An expert in the field of technology and emerging media, Cole serves as an adviser to governments and leading companies around the world as they craft digital strategies.

In July 2004 Cole joined the USC Annenberg School for Communication as director of the newly formed Center for the Digital Future and as a research professor. Prior to joining USC, Cole was a longtime member of the UCLA faculty and served as Director of the UCLA Center for Communication Policy, based in the Anderson Graduate School of Management.

Cole founded and directs the World Internet Project, a long-term longitudinal look at the effects of computer and Internet technology, which is conducted in over 35 countries. At the announcement of the project in June 1999, Vice President Al Gore praised Cole as a “true visionary providing the public with information on how to understand the impact of media.”

Nineteen years into the project, the World Internet Project, through its unique data on Internet users around the world, is the leading, unrivaled international project examining the ways in which technology changes our lives.

Cole regularly presents trends and insights of the project to the White House, FCC, Congress, Department of Defense, and heads of governments around the world. He has worked closely with the CEOs of GroupM, Ericsson, Telstra, Wesfarmers, and others. On the advisory side, his long-term relationships have included Microsoft, Sony, Time Warner, AT&T, AARP, CBS, NBC, ABC, CPB, PBS, HP, Coca-Cola, and many more as they learn to navigate the digital future. He also sits on the Global Digital Strategy Board for Unilever, the world’s second largest advertiser.

Click here to download Jeffrey Cole’s full biography.
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Brad Berens, Strategic Advisor and Senior Research Fellow
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Strategic Advisor and Senior Research Fellow Brad Berens helps to shape how the Center works with partners and the media. Brad also leads the Center’s Future of Transportation project, and he is a key participant in the Future of Health and Future of Money projects.

By day, Brad is the Editor in Chief of the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), a trade organization that empowers the media and marketing industries to thrive in the digital economy. He oversees all of the IAB’s thought leadership, including media, research, and event programming.

Previously, Brad has advised executives and companies around the world as a principal at Big Digital Idea Consulting, a boutique strategy shop. Brad also spent several years as the worldwide head of programming for dmg events’ portfolio of events focused on the intersection of interactive media with marketing and advertising, including ad:tech, the iMedia Summits, and the CMO Collective. He began his time at dmg events as the Editor in Chief of iMedia Connection, a daily media property covering the intersection of technology and advertising.

Before that, Brad was the editor of all things digital at EarthLink.  He began his career as a teacher and Shakespearean scholar at UC Berkeley, where he earned a Ph.D. He has worked as a Hollywood story analyst for studios like DreamWorks and New Regency and smaller production houses like Mirage and Scott Free. He is also a science fiction writer, and he hopes that you will check out his novel, Redcrosse.

Follow Brad on Twitter as @bradberens and check out bradberens.com.

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