Executive Director


Dr. Derrick L. Cogburn is Professor in the International Communication and International Development Programs at the School of International Service and the Information Technology and Analytics Department in the Kogod School of Business at American University. He is Founding Executive Director of the AU Institute on Disability and Public Policy (IDPP) and the IDPP for the ASEAN Region. He is also Faculty Director of the AU Internet Governance Lab. His research and teaching includes: global information and communication technology and socio-economic development; the socio-technical infrastructure for geographically distributed collaboration in knowledge work; multistakeholder institutional mechanisms for Internet governance; and transnational policy networks and epistemic communities.

Dr. Cogburn has published in major journals such as Telecommunications Policy, International Studies Perspectives, Journal of International Affairs, Assistive Technology, and Information Technologies and International Development (ITID). He has published with and/or advised the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), United Nations World Institute for Development Economics Research, the World Bank, UNESCO, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA).

He has served as PI or co-PI on over $10 million in externally supported research, with grants from sources as diverse as the National Science Foundation, US Department of Education, JP Morgan Chase, Microsoft Research, The Nippon Foundation, and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. Dr. Cogburn directs the Center for Research on Collaboratories and Technology Enhanced Learning Communities (COTELCO), 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.

Dr. Cogburn is editor of the Palgrave Macmillian book series on Information Technology and Global Governance. He is past president of the Information Technology and Politics section of the American political Science Association, and past president of the International Communication section of the International Studies Association. He is a founding member and past Vice Chair of the Global Internet Governance Academic Network (GigaNet).

Dr. Cogburn received his PhD and MA in Political Science (International Relations, Political Economy, Comparative Politics) from Howard University; and his BA in History (Africa) from the University of Oklahoma.




Dr. Filippo Trevisan is Assistant Professor in the School of Communication at American University and Deputy Director of the AU Institute on Disability and Public Policy (IDPP). After working as a reporter for Italy's largest private news agency in Rome, he completed his PhD and worked as a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Glasgow in Scotland. His research explores the impact of new media technologies on advocacy, activism, and political communication. Dr. Trevisan is interested in exploring how both elite and grassroots stakeholders use the Internet to influence debates about contested issues and affect policy decisions, including in combination with traditional protest tactics and strategic communication.

His work has focused in particular on the use of online media in the British and American disability rights movements. He also has a strong interest in comparative media analysis and has studied how voters use Google to find information about elections in the UK, the U.S., Italy, and Egypt. His research has been published in journals including Information, Communication & Society, First Monday, and Disability & Society.

Dr. Trevisan received his PhD in Political Communication and Public Policy from the University of Glasgow; MRes in Public Policy from the University of Glasgow; MSc in Political Communication from the University of Glasgow; and MA in International Relations from University of Trieste.


Associate Director

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Ms. Maya Aguilar is Associate Director, Operations and Communication at the AU Institute on Disability and Public Policy (IDPP). She manages the operations of this global research center, as well as oversees strategic communication initiatives, cultivates partnerships across campus and at the national and international levels, and contributes to the Institute's research program.

Ms. Aguilar previously served as Assistant Director of Communication at IDPP. Her portfolio includes: branding, marketing, and outreach campaigns, media relations, social media engagement, and print and digital publications development. Ms. Aguilar has served Washington, DC's nonprofit sector since 2005. She has worked at education, public health, and international development organizations performing communications, marketing, and public relations work.

She holds a B.A. in International Relations from Mount Holyoke College, and a M.A. in Public Communication from American University's School of Communication.