Adam Stepan

Adam Stepan

Director, Picker Center Digital Education Group; Adjunct Associate Professor of International and Public Affairs (Part-time)

Personal Details

Focus areas: Digital Education Management, Visual Storytelling, Case Studies

Adam Stepan oversees a variety of digital education projects at Columbia and with Columbia's global partners, including the Open Society University Network, as Director of the Picker Center Digital Education Group at Columbia

Adam is the co-author of a forthcoming Columbia University Press book "Leveling The Learning the Curve; Creating a More Inclusive and Connected University", scheduled for publication in the spring of 2023.

As Director of the Picker Center Digital Educational Group, Adam works closely with senior faculty in the research and writing of case studies in public sector innovation. Adam has overseen case research and filming in the USA, Brazil, India, Ghana, Costa Rica, Liberia, Peru, Rwanda, Cambodia, Uganda, Bangladesh and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and co-authored more than 30 SIPA case studies. Adam’s field research includes investigations into the open data and civic tech movements in the developing world, including research into NYC’s 311, Rio de Janeiro’s 1746, and the Aadhaar program in India. Adam has also co-authored more than 20 cases for the Open Society University Network.

In 2023-24, Adam will be spearheading the creation of a series of new courses on digital course and digital case creation and delivery, which will be delivered as MOOC on edX in the fall of 2023. Adam has presented at major Teaching and Learning events, including Learning with MOOC’s 2016 UPenn, SciencesPo Teaching and Learning 2018 and 2023 in Paris, and Learning With MOOC’s 2018 in Madrid.

Prior to entering the field of digital education, Adam Stepan was an Emmy award-winning documentary film producer and writer. A former member of the DGA and WGA, Adam has written and produced for PBS, BBC, Discovery Channel, and National Geographic, and has had films shown in major international documentary film festivals in the US, Canada, and Europe.

Adam has a BA from Brown University, and a PhD from King's College London.


  • PhD In Development Studies, King's College London
  • BA, Brown University

Honors and Awards

  • National Emmy Award
  • President's Global Innovation Fund -- Project Co-Director
  • Provost's Office for Online Learning Grantee 2017, 2018
  • Presenter, LWMOOC's 2016, 2018
  • Presenter, SciencesPo Teaching and Learning 2018
  • Phi Beta Kappa, Magna Cum Laude, Brown University