USC Annenberg School For Communication and Journalism


Daren C. Brabham

Assistant Professor

Daren C. Brabham is an assistant professor at USC Annenberg, and the founding editor of Case Studies in Strategic Communication. He teaches public relations and new media courses and conducts research into online communities and the role of new media in society.

He was the first to publish scholarly research using the word crowdsourcing, which describes an online, distributed problem solving and production model that utilizes the collective intelligence of online communities. A critical, qualitative researcher, his work focuses on the potential of crowdsourcing to serve the public good. His work on crowdsourcing has been supported by funding from the U.S. Federal Transit Administration, the IBM Center for the Business of Government, and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.

Brabham is the author of Crowdsourcing (MIT Press, 2013) and Crowdsourcing in the Public Sector (Georgetown University Press, 2015), as well as more than a dozen articles and chapters appearing in such publications as Convergence; Planning Theory; Information, Communication & Society; American Journal of Preventive Medicine; First Monday; International Journal of Communication; Journal of Applied Communication Research; and The Participatory Cultures Handbook.

He earned an M.S. and Ph.D. in communication from the University of Utah and a B.A. in communication and religion from Trinity University.

Brabham’s professional experience includes user experience design, crowdsourcing consulting, and a broad range of public relations functions for non-profits.

Every summer for the past 17 years, Brabham returns to his native Texas as a volunteer staff member for Texas Boys State, a learn-by-doing government and leadership program for rising high school seniors.