Rhonda Zaharna

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

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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 Cull, August 2014


  • More of professor Zaharna's selected scholarly publications


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
  • World Association of Former United Nations 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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