Superpower //dreaming up life-changing, culture-changing books while falling off surfboards and training for triathlons.

Doug is the Founder & CEO of Idea Architects. He is a former editor at the University of California Press and HarperCollins where he spent a decade trying to balance truth (with a small “t”) and Relevance (with a big “R”). He comes from a publishing family and learned about ideas, books, and culture around the dinner table. He has had the privilege of working on books for Nobel Peace Laureates Desmond Tutu, Nelson Mandela, the Dalai Lama, and Jody Williams. He has written books with Desmond Tutu for over a decade and most recently is the co-author of The Book of Joy with Desmond Tutu and the Dalai Lama. His books have been credited with convincing then-President Bill Clinton to stop genocide and for launching the modern anti-slavery movement.

He is also interested in the power of the Internet and multimedia to change culture and was on the founding team of, a philanthropy website that has pioneered new forms of giving and channeled over $300 million to charity.

Dialogue is key to Doug’s work, and he believes that genius is a collaborative process. His goal is to bring people together in a cultural conversation through books and media. Throughout all of his wide-ranging projects, Doug aspires to help build a prism through which life-changing conversations and experiences can be created and nourished. He has had the privilege of interviewing extraordinary global heroes including Jimmy Carter, Bono, Carlos Santana, Richard Branson, and many others.

He is the author of two novels that have been translated into over thirty languages.

He is married to Rachel Carlton Abrams, an integrative physician and the love of his life. They have three children, Jesse, Kayla, and Eliana. He can also be found riding waves where he lives in Santa Cruz, California.


Working with Doug Abrams at Idea Architects has been a wonderful joy. He is thoughtful, intelligent and really has a way of seeing the potential of a project. ~Archbishop Desmond Tutu