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Robert Kelley

Assistant Professor School of International Service

Robert Kelley is an assistant professor at the School of International Service, American University. His interests lie at the intersection of culture and politics and he specializes in the study of global citizenship, or the exercise of civic responsibility on the global level. Professor Kelley explores global citizenship in the diplomatic arena and is regarded as a leading figure in "new diplomacy" studies that recognize the citizen as a legitimate global actor, the subject of his latest book Agency Change: Diplomatic Action beyond the State (Rowman & Littlefield, 2014). He completed studies on the state of U.S. public diplomacy since 9/11 earning the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in International Relations at the London School of Economics. He subsequently developed this research while a Hayward R. Alker Postdoctoral Fellow at the USC Center for International Studies. Notable publications include the article “U.S. Public Diplomacy: A Cold War Success Story?” in the Hague Journal of Diplomacy (2007), “Between ‘Take-offs ‘ and ‘Crash Landings”: Situational Aspects of Public Diplomacy” in The Public Diplomacy Handbook edited by Nancy Snow and Philip M. Taylor (Routledge, 2008), “The New Diplomacy: Evolution of A Revolution” in Diplomacy and Statecraft (2010), and “Advisor Non Grata: The Dueling Roles of U.S. Public Diplomacy” in Trials of Engagement: The Future of US Public Diplomacy edited by Ali Fisher and Scott Lucas (Brill, 2011). In 2012-13, Kelley directed the Intercultural Management Institute at American University setting a new course for the training and consulting of diplomatic corps around the world. Prior to entering academia, he worked at the U.S. Department of State and before that logged several years and thousands of frequent flyer miles in the world of international business consulting.


PhD, London School of Economics and Political Science MA, International Peace and Conflict Resolution, American University BA, International Relations, Tufts University

Book Currently Reading
Secondhand Time, by Svetlana Alexievich
Languages Spoken
Spanish, Japanese

Download Resume (PDF)

SIS-School of Intl Service
East Quad Bldg - 107C
By appointment
Contact Info
(202) 885-1558

Send email to Robert Kelley

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


  • Summer 2018

  • Fall 2018

    • CORE-107 Complex Problems Seminar: Happiness Pursuit of Good Life
    • Description
    • SISU-106 First Year Seminar: Gross National Happiness
    • Description
  • Spring 2019

    • SIS-628 Advanced Topics in Int'l Comm: Global Persp on Pub Diplomacy
    • Description

Scholarly, Creative & Professional Activities

Research Interests

Honors, Awards, and Fellowships

Faculty Fellow, Complex Problems, 2018-19<br/>Dean's Summer Research Award, School of Intenational Service, 2018<br/>Fellow, Transatlantic Project, LSE-IDEAS, London School of Economics