Back to Officials


Name: Wilson, Ernest
Current Position: Previous Chair


A college professor with extensive experience in communications and communications policy, Ernest J. Wilson III is the longest serving member of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting’s board. He has held the position of chair since September 2009.
Originally from Washington, DC, Wilson received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Harvard College (1970) and both his Master of Arts (1973) and PhD (1978) in political science from the University of California, Berkeley.
While pursuing his graduate studies, Wilson worked a variety of jobs, including teaching social studies in Zaire (Congo) (1970-1971); on the national news desk of the Washington bureau of The New York Times (1971-1972); legislative assistant to Rep. Charles Diggs (D-Michigan) (1972); teaching assistant in the Department of Political Science at the University of California, Berkeley (1974-1975); editorial director of The Black Scholar magazine (1976-1977); and acting assistant professor of Afro-American Studies at the University of California, Berkeley (1977).
From 1977-1980, he was a member of the University of Pennsylvania faculty in the Department of Political Science. In 1986 he joined the faculty of the University of Michigan, also in the Department of Political Science, remaining there until 1992. At the same time, he served as the director of the Center for Research on Economic Development and as an associate research scientist at the Institute for Public Policy Studies.
In 1992-1993, was an associate professor in the Department of Government and Politics at the University of Maryland..During this time, he also was a visiting senior fellow for Africa at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York.
From 1993-1995, he served in several senior policy positions in the public and private sector as director of international programs and resources for the National Security Council (1993-1994); director of the Policy and Planning Unit, Office of the Director, U.S. Information Agency (1994); and as deputy director of the Global Information Infrastructure Commission (1994-1995).
He returned to the University of Maryland in 1995 and remained there until 2006. His tenure included seven years as director of the Center for International Development and Conflict Management.
In 2006, Wilson joined the University of Southern California, becoming the Walter H. Annenberg Chair in Communication and, in July 2007, dean of the Annenberg School for Communication.
He was first appointed to the board of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting by President Bill Clinton in September 2000. Four years later he was re-appointed by President George W. Bush. While serving on the board, he has chaired the New Media Committee and helped launch and chair the Public Awareness Committee.
Following the 2008 presidential election, he advised President Obama’s transition team on matters of communication technology and public diplomacy.
He is founding editor-in-chief of the journal Information Technologies and International Development, and has co-edited the MIT Press series “Information Revolution and World Power.”
Wilson has been a frequent consultant on IT to the World Bank, the United Nations, the U.S. Agency for International Development and private firms. He has advised governments in Nigeria, China and South Africa on communications matters. A fellow of the Center for Global Communications (Japan), he has lectured in France, India, Germany, Malaysia and the United Kingdom.
Wilson and his wife, historian Francille Rusan Wilson, have two sons.
Ernest J. Wilson III (Corporation for Public Broadcasting)
Ernest James Wilson III (University of Southern California)
Curriculum Vitae (2005) (pdf)
Bookmark and Share