Jonathan Aronson is professor of communication at USC Annenberg and professor in the Department of Political Science and International Relations at USC Dornsife

After briefly considering and rejecting careers as an operatic baritone (tone deaf) and CIA analyst (hard for someone who values transparency), Jonathan Aronson decided to follow the money, or at least the study of money. He received his training in political science and applied economics at Harvard and Stanford before coming to USC’s School of International Relations in 1976. He later (1988) also joined the faculty of USC’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. His first three books focused on international banking and global energy politics, before turning to the study of trade negotiations, trade in services, and international communication. One of his books (with Peter Cowhey) provided a framework that influenced the restructuring of global communications, led to the sharp decline in international calling rates, and perhaps boosted the explosive expansion of the Internet.

He now obsesses about ways to ensure that the global Internet remains robust and seamless to counter the Internet’s fragmentation. The recent Cowhey/Aronson volume, Digital DNA (Oxford 2017) explored the implications of the Information and Production Disruption for firms, economies, and global digital governance. Aronson continues to work on a short manuscript tentatively titled, The Good Banker that is meant to remind bankers and the public that financial institutions can and should contribute to society.

If he had not ended up as an academic, Aronson would probably have opened a contemporary art gallery. Instead, he collects art and closely follows the economics of contemporary art markets in the digital age.