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Caty Borum Chattoo Assistant Professor School of Communication

Additional Positions at AU
Director, Center for Media & Social Impact
BA Communication Studies (summa cum laude, In Honors, Phi Beta Kappa), Virginia Tech; MA Communication, University of Pennsylvania (The Annenberg School for Communication)

Caty Borum Chattoo is Executive in Residence in the School of Communication and Director of the Center for Media & Social Impact. She is an award-winning communication strategist and documentary film/TV producer working at the intersection of social-change communication, research, documentary and entertainment storytelling. Borum Chattoo’s social-change storytelling, strategy and research work has been featured in USA Today, NPR, Businessweek, The Huffington Post, and PBS MediaShift, and her social justice documentaries have aired internationally and nationally on Netflix, the Sundance Channel, Pivot, NDTV (India), PBS World, Link TV, KCET, DirectTV and theatrically. She has produced two documentary feature films (Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price and The After Party), a TV documentary and transmedia series (Stand Up Planet, starring Hasan Minhaj from “The Daily Show”), a multi-part documentary TV series focused on global poverty (ViewChange), a seven-part environmental justice documentary TV series (Sierra Club Chronicles), and PSA campaigns designed for social change on issues ranging from global poverty to climate change to HIV. In 2016, she co-created and launched Story Movements, a new initiative and convening focused on story-led movements for social justice, funded by the John T. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Ford Foundation, Atlantic Philanthropies and The Fledgling Fund. Peer-reviewed research on the role of documentary, storytelling, creativity and comedy in social change is featured or forthcoming in leading journals and outlets in community and the humanities, including: Journal of Communication, Journalism, Mass Communication and Society, International Journal of Communication, Oxford Bibliographies in Communication, and more. Her social-change strategy, production and research work has been funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Ford Foundation’s Just Films program, Participant Media, Univision/Fusion, Atlantic Philanthropies, Fledgling Fund, Independent Television Service (ITVS), Odyssey Networks, Working Films, Link Media, KCETLink, AFL-CIO, ICLEI USA (Local Governments for Sustainability), USAID’s Maternal and Child Health Integrated Program (MCHIP), NIH’s National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, and more. Previously, she was a senior vice president in behavior-change communication at FleishmanHillard International Communications in Washington, D.C., where she served on the senior leadership team for a national teen prescription drug abuse campaign that was awarded the Public Relations Society of America’s highest honor, the Silver Anvil for Public Service. In Los Angeles, she was a longtime collaborator with TV producer Norman Lear as a producer and a founding director of Declare Yourself, a national youth civic engagement campaign; and special projects director at the USC Norman Lear Center, a research center that examines the social impact of entertainment. She was also a program officer in the Kaiser Family Foundation’s Entertainment Media & Public Health program, where she managed TV partnerships with MTV and BET for the Foundation’s HIV awareness campaign; and a media fellow in civic journalism at The Philadelphia Inquirer.
See Also
Huffington Post column
Center for Media & Social Impact
Faculty Profile Video
For the Media
To request an interview for a news story, call AU Communications at 202-885-5950 or submit a request.

AU Experts

Area of Expertise

Social change communication, integrated media campaigns, and documentary film and television production, strategic communication, entertainment communication

Additional Information

Most recently, she worked as a senior vice president at a D.C. global communications agency. She also worked in Los Angeles with producer Norman Lear through both the Norman Lear Center, a multidisciplinary think tank, and as a founding director of Lear’s Declare Yourself, a national youth civic engagement campaign. Prior to this work, she served as a program officer in the Kaiser Family Foundation’s Entertainment Media & Public Health program. In addition, Borum Chattoo has produced documentary film, TV, and short-subject advocacy videos for groups including the AFL-CIO, California Nurses Association, ICLEI USA, YWCA, and others. She co-produced the investigative feature documentary film, "Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price," and served as a key media spokesperson; and she served as co-producer and field producer for an investigative TV documentary series about environmental social justice, "Sierra Club Chronicles," which aired on Link TV and the Sundance Channel.

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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