Dean Gerbner photo courtesy of Mary Ellen Mark
Gilbert V. Seldes was the first Dean of the Annenberg School for Communication, serving in that role from the School’s founding in 1959 until 1963.
Seldes was an established writer and cultural critic. He is most famous for his 1924 book, The Seven Lively Arts. He adapted Lysistrata and A Midsummer Night’s Dream for Broadway. Later he made films, wrote radio scripts and became the first director of television for CBS News.
Under his leadership, the School’s curriculum focused on the techniques and creative processes of communications, as well as the organization and interrelation of the mass media, its relationship to society and culture, as well as its problems and responsibilities. Courses consisted of production workshops, traditional lectures, and courses in other departments. In the founding years of the school, graduate students were also required to keep individual journals on topics in the field, and to be active members of the community, contributing regularly to community publications such as University City News. Dean Seldes taught courses on the mass media and the public. He represented the School in printed materials about the School, and at major events, including the dedication of the Annenberg School building in 1962.
George Gerbner served as Dean of the Annenberg School for Communication from 1964 until 1989.
He worked briefly for the San Francisco Chronicle as a writer, columnist and assistant financial editor. While in the U.S. Army he served with the Office of Strategic Services and received the Bronze Star (eventually being honorably discharged as a First Lieutenant). After the war he worked as a freelance writer and publicist and taught journalism at El Camino College while earning his master’s and doctorate degrees in communication from the University of Southern California.
During his years as Dean, Dr. Gerbner spearheaded efforts to make the Annenberg School a national leader in Communication research. He expanded the School's academic reputation, developing the school's doctoral and undergraduate degree programs. He built a world-class faculty, renowned for their research and teaching. Dr. Gerbner made significant and lasting contributions to the communication field. In the 1970s, Gerbner implemented the Cultural Indicators Project. Through the project, Gerbner and his colleagues conducted an in-depth study of television content and its effect on Americans. Along with his work as dean, teacher and researcher, Dr. Gerbner served as Editor and Executive Editor of the Journal of Communication, and was instrumental in establishing it as an internationally renowned publication.
Kathleen Hall Jamieson served as dean from 1989 until 2003.
Prof. Jamieson presently is the Elizabeth Ware Packard Professor of Communication at the Annenberg School for Communication and Walter and Leonore Annenberg Director of the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania. An expert on political campaigns, Dr. Jamieson has received numerous teaching and service awards including the Christian R. and Mary F. Lindback Award. She is the recipient of many fellowships and grants including support from The Pew Charitable Trusts, The Ford Foundation, The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, The MacArthur Foundation and The Carnegie Corporation of New York. Dr. Jamieson is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a member of the American Philosophical Society, and Fellow of the International Communication Association and of the American Academy of Political and Social Science. She is the author, co author or editor of Eighteen books including: Echo Chamber (with Prof. Joseph Cappella; Oxford, 2008); The 2000 Presidential Election and the Foundations of Party Politics (Cambridge, 2004); The Press Effect (Oxford, 2003); Everything You Think You Know About Politics...and Why You’re Wrong (Basic Books, 2000); Dirty Politics: Deception, Distraction and Democracy (Oxford, 1992); Beyond the Double Bind: Women and Leadership (Oxford, 1995); and Spiral of Cynicism: Press and Public Good (Oxford, 1997). She received the Speech Communication Association's Golden Anniversary Book Award for Packaging the Presidency (Oxford, 1984) and the Winans Wichelns Book Award for Eloquence in an Electronic Age (Oxford, 1988). The American Political Science Association Political Communication Division’s 2008 Doris Graber Award and 2009 ICA Fellows’ Book Award for Spiral of Cynicism: The Press and the Public Good (with Joseph Cappella) and the National Communication Association’s 2009 Diamond Anniversary Book Award and Winans Wichelns Award for Presidents Creating the Presidency: Deeds Done in Words (with Karlyn Kohrs Campbell).
Michael X. Delli Carpini became Dean in 2003.
Michael X. Delli Carpini, Dean of the Annenberg School for Communication, received his B.A. and M.A. from the University of Pennsylvania (1975) and his Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota (1980). Prior to joining the University of Pennsylvania faculty in July of 2003, Dr. Delli Carpini was Director of the Public Policy program of the Pew Charitable Trusts (1999-2003), and member of the Political Science Department at Barnard College and graduate faculty of Columbia University (1987-2002), serving as chair of the Barnard department from 1995 to 1999. Dr. Delli Carpini began his academic career as an Assistant Professor in the Political Science Department at Rutgers University (1980-1987). His research explores the role of the citizen in American politics, with particular emphasis on the impact of the mass media on public opinion, political knowledge and political participation. He is author of Stability and Change in American Politics: The Coming of Age of the Generation of the 1960s (New York University Press, 1986), What Americans Know about Politics and Why It Matters (Yale University Press, 1996 and winner of the 2008 American Association of Public Opinion Researchers Book Award), A New Engagement? Political Participation, Civic Life and the Changing American Citizen (Oxford University Press, 2006), and Talking Together: Public Deliberation and Political Participation in America (University of Chicago Press, 2009), as well as numerous articles, essays and edited volumes on political communications, public opinion and political socialization. Dean Delli Carpini was awarded the 2008 Murray Edelman Distinguished Career Award from the Political Communication Division of the American Political Science Association.