Skip to main content

Scott Talan

Assistant Professor School of Communication

Scott Talan, MPA, is an assistant professor of Public & Strategic Communication. Talan is an expert in social media and personal branding honed through communications experience in four distinct fields: TV News, Politics, Nonprofits/NGO's and Higher Education. Talan has worked at the United Nations, Harvard University and the March of Dimes.

Talan wrote at ABC News Good Morning America. He's also reported on-air for local TV news stations in several states including California, New Mexico, and Florida while covering politics including the 2000 presidential recount story where he bested other reporters for stories and interviews.

Before news, Talan was as an elected city council member and Mayor of Lafayette, California.

Talan received his Master in Public Administration from Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, studied broadcast journalism at Stanford, and completed his BA at the University of California at Davis in Political Science and Economics.

Prior to joining American University Scott was an adjunct faculty member at George Washington and Johns Hopkins. In the summer of 2012 Talan also taught media courses in China at Xiamen University and lectured at Renmin University. He has also guest lectured at Japan's Ritsumeikan University.

Professor Talan serves as a Faculty in Residence living on campus at AU, extending the teaching and learning outside the classroom. He also advised the student run Social Media Club. In 2013 Talan conducted research on the nature of student awareness of current employer recruiting practices and gave a TED-x talk based on this project. He has given the 'Last Lecture' as well on the topic of personal branding. Additionally he has spoken many times at academic conferences on social media best practices in a classroom setting as well as use of other technology and teaching tools.

Scott served as a legal consultant in a highly watched court case revolving around the impacts and damage to online reputation.

Professor Talan was an early leader in using social media in the classroom. Talan also created two new online courses about identity online and social media.

Professor Talan teaches the following courses:
• Understanding Media (included as part of the University College)
• Social Media Strategies and Tactics (in-classroom and online),
• Public Relations Writing
• Personal Branding & Online Identity (course creator)


Harvard-Master of Public Administration
Stanford-Broadcast Journalism Certificate
University of California Davis-Bachelors of Arts

SOC - School of Communication
McKinley - 242
Contact Info
(202) 885-6461

Send email to Scott Talan

For the Media
To request an interview for a news story, call AU Communications at 202-885-5950 or submit a request.
See Also
Follow me on Twitter @talan
Watch my YouTube Channel: Talanism
Friend me on Facebook
Connect with me on LinkedIn
Reviews of Class & Teaching


Scholarly, Creative & Professional Activities

Design and Communication Arts Work

Comm Kid (Student movie trailer video)

SOC Style (Student music video)

Fashion Magazine Capstone (Student project)

Student Advertisement from Understanding Media Class

Media Appearances

ABC News 20/20 on Social Media & Newton Shooting

CNN Story on Social Media & Crimes

Social Media & Presidential Debates Go Well Together-WTOP