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Derrick L. Cogburn Professor SIS - Env Dev Health

Additional Positions at AU
Professor, Kogod School of Business, Information Technology & Analytics
Executive Director, Institute on Disability and Public Policy
Faculty Co-Director, Internet Governance Lab
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish
Dr. Derrick L. Cogburn is Professor at American University in Washington, DC. He has a joint appointment in the School of International Service where he serves in the Department of Environment, Development & Health; and in the Kogod School of Business where he serves in the Department of Information Technology & Analytics. He also serves at the founding Executive Director of the AU Institute on Disability and Public Policy (IDPP), is Faculty Co-Director of the Internet Governance Lab (IGL), and is Director of COTELCO the Collaboration Laboratory. Dr. Cogburn’s multifaceted research interests are located at the intersection of information technology, global governance, and socio-economic development. He uses a variety of computational text mining and data analytics approaches including unsupervised and supervised machine learning and artificial intelligence methodologies to better understand large-scale text based datasets in the areas of cybersecurity, disability policy, and distributed collaboration in knowledge work. He has published widely, with his most recent books being: Researching Internet Governance: Methods, Frameworks, Futures (MIT Press, 2020); Transnational Advocacy Networks in the Information Society: Partners or Pawns? (Palgrave-McMillian, 2017); Making Disability Rights Real in Southeast Asia: Implementing the CRPD in ASEAN (Lexington, 2016); and The Turn to Infrastructure in Internet Governance (Palgrave-McMillan, 2016). He is Editor of the Palgrave Macmillan book series Information Technology and Global Governance and serves on editorial boards for Journal of Information Technology and Politics, Review of Policy Research, and Journal of Political Science Education. He is former Chair of the Review Panel for the American Academy for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), Diplomacy, Security and Development, Science Technology Policy Fellowships, and served as a member of the inaugural AAAS Big Data and Analytics Fellowship Committee and returned to serve as its chair. He served as a member of the High-Level Panel of Advisors for the United Nations Global Alliance for Information and Communication Technologies and Development (UNGAID). Dr. Cogburn has been Principal Investigator on grants from a wide variety of government, private sector, and foundation sources including, the National Science Foundation Department of Education, Microsoft, Microsoft Research, Hewlett Packard, Cisco Systems, JPMorgan Chase, the WK Kellogg Foundation, and The Nippon Foundation. He also served on the Committee of Visitors for the Office of Cyberinfrastructure at the National Science Foundation. At Syracuse University, he was tenured Associate Professor in the School of Information Studies and Senior Research Associate in the Moynihan Institute at the Maxwell School. He is past president of the Information, Technology, and Politics section of the American Political Science Association and of the International Communication section of the International Studies Association. He served as Executive Director of the Global Information Infrastructure Commission-Africa and Vice Chair of the Global Internet Governance Academic Network. He holds a PhD in political science from Howard University in Washington, DC, where he was a W.K. Kellogg doctoral fellow at the Ralph J. Bunche International Affairs Center.
See Also
Dr. Cogburn's Twitter Account:
IDPP Twitter Account:
Internet Governance Lab Twitter Account
For the Media
To request an interview for a news story, call AU Communications at 202-885-5950 or submit a request.


Spring 2023

  • ITEC-200 Edge of Information Technology

  • ITEC-724 Big Data Analytics/Text Mining

Fall 2023

  • ITEC-200 Edge of Information Technology

  • ITEC-724 Big Data Analytics/Text Mining

  • SISU-419 Senior Capstone: Int'l Studies: Inclusive Sustainable Dev:2030

Scholarly, Creative & Professional Activities

Research Interests

Professor Cogburn’s research program explores the impact of socio-technical collaboration infrastructure on civic participation in global information and communication technology (ICT) policy processes, and more broadly on international development and global governance.

Selected Publications

  • "Globalization, Education and Learning in the Information Economy," Derek C. Mulenga (ed.) Globalization and Lifelong Education: Critical Perspective, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 2008.   
  • "Enabling Effective Multistakeholder Participation in Global Internet Governance Through Accessible Cyberinfrastructure," The Handbook of Internet Politics, Routledge, March 2008.   
  • "Help Me, Help You: Maximizing Collaborative Learning In Complex, Cross-National Virtual Teams," (with Nanette Levinson). In Orvis. K.L and A.R. Lassiter (eds.) Computer Supported Collaborative Learning: Best Practices and Principles for Instructors. Idea Group, 2007.   
  • "Inclusive Internet Governance: Enhancing Multistakeholder Participation Through Geographically Distributed Policy Collaboratories," in Global Multistakeholder Diplomacy. Eds. Kurbalija and Katrandjiev. Malta/Geneva, 2006.   
  • "The World is Our Campus: A Comparative Review of Webconferencing Products for Geographically Distributed Collaborative Work." (with D. Kurup.) Network Computing, 2006.   
  • "Emergent Regime Formation for the Information Society and the Impact on Africa," In Anthony D. Costa (ed). The New Economy in Development. Palgrave, 2006.
  • "The US Role in Global Internet Governance," (with M. Mueller, L. McKnight, H. Klein, and J. Mathiason.) IEEE Communications Magazine, December 2005.   
  • "Partners or Pawns? The Impact of Elite Decision-Making and Epistemic Communities in Global Information Policy on Developing Countries and Transnational Civil Society,"  Knowledge, Technology, Politics, Summer 2005.   
  • "Elite Decision-Making and Epistemic Communities: Implications for Global Information Policy," in Sandra Braman (ed.) The Emergent Global Information Policy Regime, Palgrave Macmillan, 2004.   
  • "Governing Global Information and Communication Policy: Emergent Regime Formation and the Impact on Africa," Telecommunications Policy, Vol. 27, 2003.

Professional Presentations

  • “Research Writing and Publishing: Scholarly Paper Planning, Writing, and Peer Review.” iSchool Doctoral Seminar, School of Information Studies, Syracuse University, October 2007.   
  • “Designing Accessible Cyberinfrastructure for Distributed Wireless Grids Research Communities.” Stanford University, CA, June 2007.   
  • “Culture vs. Distance: Understanding the Dynamics of Globally Distributed Collaboration,” 1st International Conference on Intercultural Collaboration, Tokyo, Japan, January 2007.   
  • “Going Global, Locally: Geographically Distributed Collaboration Through Cyberinfrastructure-Enabled Knowledge Communities,” Syracuse University, December 2006.   
  • “Bridging the Gap: Exploring Enabling Mechanisms for Effective Multistakeholder Participation in Global Internet Governance Processes – Linking the Caribbean Internet Forum to the Internet Governance Forum,” UN Internet Governance Forum, Athens, Greece, November 2006.   
  • “Where Will We Be in 2020: The Power of Technology and Social Networks,” Syracuse University, New York City, NY, October 2006.   
  • “The Practice of Geographically Distributed Collaboration,” Syracuse University, School of Information Studies, October 2006.   
  • “Theories of Geographically Distributed Collaboration.” Syracuse University, School of Information Studies, September 2006.   
  • “Going Global, Locally: Geographically Distributed Collaboration Through Cyberinfrastructure-Enabled Knowledge Communities,” Quito, Ecuador, May/June 2006.
  • Geographically Distributed Collaboration and Advanced Cyberinfrastructure,” at “Where to Go from Tunis: International Follow-Up Conference to the U.N. World Summit on the Information Society, Copenhagen, Denmark, February 2006.

Honors, Awards, and Fellowships

  • Computer World Honors Award Laureate (formerly Smithsonian Innovation Award), 2002.   
  • Nominated for Who’s Who in America, 2002.   
  • Nominated for Who’s Who of International Professionals, 2001.   
  • American University, Outstanding Innovation In the Use of Technology in the Classroom, 2001.  
  • Nominated for Dissertation of the Year, American Political Science Association, 1996.   
  • Visiting Research Fellow, Center for Southern African Studies, University of the Western Cape, 1994.   
  • W.K. Kellogg Foundation Doctoral Fellowship, Howard University, 1993-1996.

Grants and Sponsored Research

  • Co-Principal Investigator – CI-Facilitators: Information Architects Across the STEM Disciplines, National Science Foundation.   
  • Co-Principal Investigator – “Syracuse University Ronald McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program,” Department of Education.   
  • Principal Investigator/Project Director, “Enhancing the Cyberinfrastructure for National AGEP Integration: Rapid Prototyping and Evaluation of a Pilot NY AGEP Collaboratory,” National Science Foundation.   
  • Principal Investigator, “Building and Evaluating a Pilot Collaboratory for the Southeast ADA Technology Assistance Center,” Georgia Institute of Technology.   
  • Co-Principal Investigator, “Transnational Non-Governmental Organizations as Agents of Change: Towards Understanding Their Governance, Leadership, and Effectiveness,” National Science Foundation.   
  • Co-Principal Investigator, “Demand-Side Employment Placement Models,” National Institute for Disability and Rehabilitation Research.   
  • Principal Investigator, “Leadership in the Digital Age: South African Quad Leadership in Information Infrastructure Development,” University of Maryland.   
  • Principal Investigator/Project Director, “From Pawns to Partners, Policy Collaboratories and Their Impact on the Global Governance of Cyberinfrastructure,” Hewlett Packard.   
  • Principal Investigator/Project Director, “Support for the Global Graduate Seminar 2003,” Cisco Systems.   
  • Co-Principal Investigator, “Building the Information Society in Africa: Cultural Preservation and Networking in Emerging Democracies,” USIA/U.S. Department of State.

Media Appearances

  • The Monroe Street Journal  
  • BBC News
  • Business Wire


Executive Experience

  • President and CEO, Praxis Global Group
  • Former President and CEO, PowerGrafix Omi World
  • Former Deputy Director, Centre for Information Society Development in Africa (CSIR)
  • Former Director, Centre for Information Society Development in Africa (CSIR Corporate)
  • Former Africa Regional Director, Global Information Infrastructure Commission (GIIC)
  • Former Executive Director, GIIC Africa

AU Experts

Area of Expertise

Global information and communication technology and policy; global governance; transnational nongovernmental organizations and global civil society; cyberinfrastructure, virtual organizations and teams

Additional Information

Derrick L. Cogburn's research and teaching includes global information and communication technology and socioeconomic development, institutional mechanisms for global governance of information and communication technologies (ICTs), transnational policy networks and epistemic communities, and the sociotechnical infrastructure for geographically distributed collaboration in knowledge work. Cogburn directs the Center for Research on Collaboratories and Technology Enhanced Learning Communities, an award-winning social science research collaboratory investigating the social and technical factors that influence geographically distributed collaborative knowledge work, particularly between developed and developing countries.

For the Media

To request an interview for a news story, call AU Communications at 202-885-5950 or submit a request.

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