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Rhonda Zaharna

Professor School of Communication

Rhonda Zaharna is a former senior Fulbright Scholar who 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, NATO, and USAID. She has repeatedly testified before the US Congress and has addressed diplomatic audiences and military personnel in the United States, Europe and Asia on strategic communication and public diplomacy. Her books include, Battles to Bridges: US Strategic Communication and Public Diplomacy after 9/11 (Palgrave-Macmillan, 2010).
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Degrees

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

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Office
SOC - School of Communication
McKinley - 211
Contact Info
(202) 885-3995

Send email to Rhonda Zaharna

For the Media
To request an interview for a news story, call AU Communications at 202-885-5950 or submit a request.
See Also

Teaching

Scholarly, Creative & Professional Activities

Selected Publications

 Selected Scholarly Publications

    R.S. Zaharna, A. Arsenault and A. Fisher (Eds.), The Connective Mindshift: Relational, Network and Collaborative Approaches to Public Diplomacy. (New York: Routledge, 2013).

     

    R.S. Zaharna, The Cultural Awakening in Public Diplomacy, CPD Perspectives on Public Diplomacy (Los Angeles: Figueroa Press, 2012).

     

    R.S. Zaharna, Battles to Bridges: U.S. Strategic Communication and Public Diplomacy after 9/11 (Basingstoke: Palgrave-Macmillan, 2010).  * Paperback edition with Foreword by Nicholas J. Cull, August 2014

        

  • More of professor Zaharna's selected scholarly publications
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    R.S. Zaharna & Nur Uysal. Going for the Jugular in Public Diplomacy: How adversarial publics are using social media are challenging state legitimacy. Public Relations Review. (forthcoming, available online: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.pubrev.2015.07.006

     

    R.S. Zaharna (2015). Beyond the Individualism-Collectivism Divide to Relationalism: Explicating Cultural Assumptions in the Concept of ‘Relationships.’ Communication Theory. (forthcoming, available online: doi:10.1111/comt.12058)

     

     

 

Honors, Awards, and Fellowships

      
  • Top Faculty Paper, Public Relations Division, National Communication Association, 2014
  • Research Fellowship, Center on Public Diplomacy, University of Southern California (2011-2013)
  • Top Research Paper, International Communication, International Studies Association, 2011

Professional Presentations

 Invited Presentations & Conference Presentations   

 

R.S. Zaharna, "Contested Narratives, Contested Identities: Exploring the Relational Dynamics and Identity Function in Public Diplomacy," International Communication Association, San Juan, Puerto Rico, May 20, 2015.

 

R.S. Zaharna, "South Africa - Nation Branding as Public Diplomacy," International Communication Association, San Juan, Puerto Rico, May 21, 2015.

 

Di Wu, & R.S. Zaharna, "Building Guanxi in Cultural Diplomacy:  An Intercultural Communication Analysis of China’s Confucius Institute Initiative," International Communication Association, San Juan, Puerto Rico, May 21, 2015.

 

R.S. Zaharna, "Rapid Response Public Diplomacy," International Studies Association. New Orleans, February 19, 2015.

 

R.S. Zaharna, "The Identity Function of Public Diplomacy: Exploring Identity Narratives," International Studies Association, New Orleans. February 18, 2015.

 

R.S. Zaharna, The Confucius Institutes as a New Cultural Diplomacy. Confucius Institute Global Conference, Xiamen, China, December 9, 2014.

 

R.S. Zaharna & Nur Uysal, “Going for the Jugular: The Challenge from the 4th Quadrant of a Relational Public Diplomacy Model” National Communication Association Conference, November 20-23, 2014 *Top Faculty Paper, announced June 30, 2014

 

R.S. Zaharna, "Workshop participant," Second International Conference on Interfaith Dialogue, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Prizen, Kosovo, May 23, 2014. *Invited

 

R.S. Zaharna, “Diaspora in Reactive Public Diplomacy,” International Studies Association, Toronto, March 24-27, 2014.

 

R.S. Zaharna, “The "Relational Turn" to the Hard Questions in Public Diplomacy,  International Studies Association, Toronto, March 24-27, 2014.

 

R.S. Zaharna, "China's Confucius Institute: The Soft Power Differential," 9th Annual Research Conference, New Era in Cultural Diplomacy, USC Center on Public Diplomacy, Los Angeles, February 28, 2014. *Invited

 

R.S. Zaharna, "Exploring Cultural Assumptions of “Relationships” in Organization-Public Relations (OPR): Relationship-building and Relational-being," National Communication Association, Washington, DC, November 21, 2013.

 

R. S. Zaharna, "Public Diplomacy: The “Sunrise” and Communication Synergy of a New Field," National Communication Association, Washington, DC, November 21, 2013. (Panel Organizer & Chair)

 

R.S. Zaharna, “The Critical Role of the Domestic Public in Public Diplomacy,” Association of Public Diplomacy Scholars Conference “Public Diplomacy on the Frontlines,” Center on Public Diplomacy, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, May 3, 2013. *Invited

 

R.S. Zaharna, “Relational Approaches in Public Diplomacy,” International Studies Association, San Francisco, April 5, 2013.

 

R.S. Zaharna, “The Connective Mindshift in Public Diplomacy,” International Studies Association, San Francisco, April 5, 2013.

 

R.S. Zaharna, “Trends in Political Mobilization: How State and Non-State Actors Are Using the Traditional and Social Media to Engage the Public,” Regional Realities of Gulf Security and Transregional Concerns Symposium sponsored by Royal United Serves Institute for Defense and Security Studies (RUSI) and DERSAT, Bahrain, June 12-13, 2012. *Invited

 

R.S. Zaharna, “Analyzing China’s Confucius Institutes as a Network Public Diplomacy Initiative,” International Studies Association, San Diego, CA, April 1-4, 2012.

 

R.S. Zaharna, “Public Diplomacy Analysis of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation,” First Global Congress for Muslim Public Relations Practitioners, Kuala Lumpur, December 5-8, 2011. *Invited

Congressional Testimony

       
  • "9/11 Commission Recommendations on Public Diplomacy” U.S. House Subcommittee on National Security, Emerging Threats and International Relations August 23, 2004
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  • "Public Diplomacy and Islam" U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations February 27,2003.
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  • "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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