Caty Borum Chattoo

Director of the Center for Media & Social Impact, American University School of Communication

Caty Borum Chattoo is Director of the Center for Media & Social Impact (CMSI), an innovation lab and research center at American University that creates, showcases and studies media designed for social change; and Executive in Residence at the American University School of Communication in Washington, D.C. She is an award-winning communication strategist and documentary film/TV producer working at the intersection of social-change communication, research, documentary and entertainment storytelling.

Borum Chattoo’s social justice documentaries have aired internationally and nationally on Netflix, the Sundance Channel, Pivot, NDTV (India), PBS World, Link TV, KCET, DirectTV and theatrically. She has produced two documentary feature films (Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price and The After Party), a TV documentary and transmedia series (Stand Up Planet, starring Hasan Minhaj from “The Daily Show”), a multi-part documentary TV series focused on global poverty (ViewChange), a seven-part environmental justice documentary TV series (Sierra Club Chronicles), and several social-change PSA campaigns. She was formerly senior vice-president in the social marketing (social impact) division of Fleishman-Hillard International Communciations; program officer at the Kaiser Family Foundation's Entertainment Media & Public Health program; fellow in civic journalism at the Philadelphia Inquirer; senior producer and special projects director at the USC Annenberg Lear Center; and a collaborator with legendary TV producer Norman Lear in Los Angeles. Peer-reviewed research is forthcoming in Journal of Communication, Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, and more.


  • –present
    Director of the Center for Media & Social Impact, professor specializing in documentary, media and communication for social change, American University School of Communication


  • 1998 
    University of Pennsylvania, Communication