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Rhonda Zaharna

Associate Professor
School of Communication

  • Rhonda Zaharna specializes in public diplomacy, intercultural and international strategic communication, with an emphasis on culture and communication in the Arab and Islamic regions. In addition to teaching strategic communication for nearly 20 years, she has advised on communication projects for multinational corporations, non governmental organizations, diplomatic missions, and international organizations, including the United Nations, World Bank, and USAID. She has repeatedly testified before the US Congress and has addressed diplomatic audiences and military personnel in the United States and Europe on cross-cultural communication and public diplomacy. Her books include, Battles to Bridges: US Strategic Communication and Public Diplomacy after 9/11 (Palgrave-Macmillan, 2010).
    . Dr. Zaharna is a research fellow with the University of Southern California, Center on Public Diplomacy.
  • Degrees

    BS, Foreign Service, Georgetown University; MEd, Communication, Columbia University; Ed.D., Communication, Columbia University

  • SOC - School of Communication
  • Mary Graydon - 301

  • (202) 885-3995
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Scholarly, Creative & Professional Activities

Selected Publications

Public Diplomacy Analysis

Selected Scholarly Publications

  • "An Associative Approach to Intercultural Communication Competence in the Arab World," in D. Deardorff (ed.) Sage Handbook of Intercultural Communication Competence (Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage, 2009), pp. 179-195.
  • "Palestinian Public Relations: A Social Networking Model," [co-authors Ahmed Ibrahim Hammad and Jane Masri], in K. Sriramesh & D. Vercic (eds.), The Handbook of Global Public Relations, Vol. 2 (New York: Routledge, 2008), pp. 220-242.
  • "Information and Relational Communication Frameworks of Strategic Public Diplomacy," in N. Snow and P.M. Taylor (eds.) Routledge Handbook of Public Diplomacy (New York: Routledge, 2008), pp. 86-100.
  • "Al-Jazeera & American Public Diplomacy: A Dance of Intercultural Miscommunication," in M. Zayani (ed.) Critical Perspectives on Al Jazeera (London: Pluto Press, 2005), pp. 183-202.
  • "From Propaganda to Public Diplomacy in an Information Age," in Y. Kamalipour and N. Snow (eds.) War, Media and Propaganda: A Global Perspective (New York: Rowman & Littlefield, 2004) pp. 219-225.
  •                                       "Asymmetry of Cultural Styles & the Unintended Consequences of Crisis Public Diplomacy," in Intercultural Communication & Diplomacy (Malta: Diplo Foundation, 2004), pp. 133-142.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           
  • More of professor Zaharna's selected scholarly publications

Honors, Awards, and Fellowships

  • World Association of Former United Nationa Interns and Fellows, 2001
  • Fulbright Senior Scholar, 1996
  • American University Senate Research Competition Award, 1993
  • Curriculum Development Grant, 1993
  • Top Paper, International & Intercultural Communication, International Communication Association, 1989
  • Dissertation Award, Society for Intercultural Training, Education and Research, 1987

Professional Presentations

Congressional Testimony

  • "9/11 Commission Recommendations on Public Diplomacy” U.S. House Subcommittee on National Security, Emerging Threats and International Relations August 23, 2004
  • "Public Diplomacy and Islam" U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations February 27,2003.
  • "Are We Listening to the Arab Street?" U.S. House Subcommittee on National Security, Emerging Threats and International Relations October 8, 2002.

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