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Photograph of Scott Talan

Scott Talan Assistant Professor Public Communications

• Harvard University - Master in Public Administration
• University of California (Davis) - Poli Sci & Econ
• Stanford University - TV News Certificate

Favorite Spot on Campus
The Dav. The Bridge. Starbucks. Moai Statue (of Easter Island Fame).
Favorite Place in Washington DC
#1. AU #2. Kennedy Center #3. National Press Club
Scott Talan, MPA, is an assistant professor of Public Relations & Strategic Communication. Talan is an expert in social media and personal branding honed through communications experience in four distinct fields: TV News, Politics, Nonprofits/NGO's and Higher Education. Talan has worked at the United Nations, Harvard University and the March of Dimes.

Talan wrote at ABC News Good Morning America. He's also reported on-air for local TV news stations in several states including California, New Mexico, and Florida while covering politics including the 2000 presidential recount story where he bested other reporters for stories and interviews.

Before news, Talan was as an elected city council member and Mayor of Lafayette, California.

Talan received his Master in Public Administration from Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, studied broadcast journalism at Stanford, and completed his BA at the University of California at Davis in Political Science and Economics.

Prior to joining American University Scott was an adjunct faculty member at George Washington and Johns Hopkins. In the summer of 2012 Talan also taught media courses in China at Xiamen University and lectured at Renmin University. He has also guest lectured at Japan's Ritsumeikan University.

In 2013, Talan conducted research on the nature of student awareness of current employer recruiting practices and gave a TED-x talk based on this project. He has given the 'Last Lecture' as well on the topic of personal branding. Additionally he has spoken many times at academic conferences on social media best practices in a classroom setting as well as use of other technology and teaching tools.


ISIS Terrorists Use Media Against U.S.

Professors Need Branding Too

Scott served as a legal consultant in a highly watched court case revolving around the impacts and damage to online reputation. In 2016 Talan was awarded with the Jack Child Teaching with Technology award, and has also been named a Frederick Douglass Distinguished Scholar.
Professor Talan was an early leader in using social media in the classroom starting in 2005.

Talan is a member of the Travelers Century Club having visited more than 100 countries.

Talan is a member of the Finnish Diplomatic Sauna Society and has officiated at weddings as a Commissioner of Civil Marriage.


Spring 2024

  • COMM-310 Public Speaking

  • COMM-620 Topics in Mass Media: Digital Mktg for Strat Comm

Scholarly, Creative & Professional Activities

Design and Communication Arts Work

Comm Kid (Student movie trailer video)

SOC Style (Student music video)

Fashion Magazine Capstone (Student project)

Media Appearances

ABC News 20/20 on Social Media & Newton Shooting

CNN Story on Social Media & Crimes

Social Media & Presidential Debates Go Well Together - WTOP

AU Experts

Area of Expertise

Social media, digital media, new media, personal branding and multimedia

Additional Information

Scott Talan is an expert in social media and personal branding honed through communications experience in four distinct fields: TV News, Politics, Nonprofits/NGO's and Higher Education. He has been a writer, producer, and reporter for numerous media organizations, including ABC News/Good Morning America, and he has taught both undergraduate and graduate courses at George Washington University and Johns Hopkins University.

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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