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Top 5 Candidates for USC Annenberg Dean

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USC's Annenberg School for Communication has narrowed its search for a new dean to five candidates and will conduct meetings with the candidates -- open to students and faculty -- over the next few weeks.

Last year Dean Geoffrey Cowan announced that he would step down after two five-year terms as dean of the Annenberg School, leading many to speculate on a qualified successor. He was endowed with the inaugural Annenberg Family Chair in Communication Leadership and will serve as a fellow at Harvard's Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press among other things.

Cowan's career accomplishments are impressive and by all accounts, his leadership and fundraising skills as dean of the Annenberg School will be hard to replace.

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Cowan, who directed Voice of America under Bill Clinton, founded USC's Center on Public Diplomacy in 2003. Its prominence, along with a new Master's in Public Diplomacy program, evidently appealed to at least two of the five candidates for dean (Wilson and Tharoor).

And the nominees candidates for deanship of USC's Annenberg School for Communication are....