Professors Benjamin Barber and Ernest Wilson join USC Center on Public Diplomacy

The USC Center on Public Diplomacy is pleased to welcome two new senior fellows. Professors Benjamin Barber and Ernest Wilson will begin work with the Center in Fall 2005 and Spring 2006, respectively. Both are experts in international affairs and public diplomacy and will offer new perspectives and extensive experience to the Center. In the upcoming year, they will begin research projects and present lectures to USC students, faculty, and public diplomacy practitioners. This collaboration is an opportunity to further develop the mission of the Center and help expand the study and practice of public diplomacy.

Professor Benjamin Barber
Benjamin R. Barber is the Gershon and Carol Kekst Professor of Civil Society and Distinguished University Professor at the University of Maryland and the Director of the Democracy Collaborative, an organization that works to strengthen local and global democracy through research, training, and community action. Professor Barber’s commitment to democratic civil practices has manifested itself in many ways throughout his career: as political theorist, fundraiser, educational and political consultant, administrator, public speaker, and television and theater writer.

He has been an outside advisor to President Bill Clinton and has consulted with President Herzog and most recently President Rau of the Federal Republic of Germany, the Liberal Party of Sweden, and the European Parliament. He has drafted papers and lectured for the U.S. Information Agency and the National Endowment for the Humanities, and counseled the Corporation for National and Community Service. Professor Barber has written 15 books, including Strong Democracy and the international bestseller Jihad vs. McWorld. He speaks frequently in North America and Europe and was the editor-in-chief for ten years of the prominent international journal Political Theory.

Professor Barber studied at the Albert Schweitzer College in Switzerland and the London School of Economics before receiving his B.A. from Grinell College. He has an M.A. and Ph.D. from Harvard University.

Professor Ernest Wilson
Ernest J. Wilson III comes from the University of Maryland where he is a Professor in the Department of Government and Politics and the Department of African-American Studies. He has more than 25 years experience in academic, media and policy arenas and specializes in development and conflict, information technology, trade relations and African studies. Professor Wilson was appointed to the board of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting by President Bill Clinton in 2000 and then re-appointed by President George W. Bush in 2004. He is also on advisory boards for the Council on Foreign Relations and the Journal of Democracy and was senior foreign policy advisor to Senator John Kerry and Vice President Al Gore.

Previously, he was the Director for International Programs and Resources on the National Security Council at the Clinton White House. There he worked on international economic programs and helped reform U.S. international broadcasting. He also established and directed the Policy and Planning Unit in the Office of the Director of the U.S. Information Agency. Professor Wilson has been actively involved in helping governments make democratic transitions to market economies and in increasing political and economic participation of minority groups in the U.S. He has testified before the U.S. Congress, addressed United Nations agencies, and consulted in the private and public sectors in the U.S. and abroad.

Information Revolution and Developing Countries (MIT Press) and Diversity and U.S. Foreign Policy (Routledge Press) were both released in 2004 and Professor Wilson has two books forthcoming in 2005. He has also published more than 40 journal articles. He received his B.A. from Harvard College and his M.A. and Ph.D. in political science from the University of California at Berkeley.

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