The International Communication Section (ICOMM)

of the International Studies Association

R.S. Zaharna is the 2018 Recipient ISA ICOMM Distinguished Scholar Award

rs-zaharna-2014-01Selected by the Executive Committee from a pool of nominations made by ICOMM section members,  the 2018 ICOMM Distinguished Scholar Award winner is Professor R.S. (Rhonda) Zaharna from American University. The committee recognizes Dr. Zaharna for her notable contributions to the scholarship, pedagogy, and practice of public diplomacy and strategic communications and for her dedicated service to the ISA.

Please join panelists Efe Sevin (Reinhardt), Philip Seib (USC), Betty Hanson (UCONN), Kathy Fitzpatrick (American), Nanette Levinson (American), Amelia Arsenault (US Dept. of State/GSU) and Nicholas Cull (USC) at a panel honoring her work on April 5 2018 from 4.00 – 5.45pm. ICOMM will present the award to Dr. Zaharna at the ISA ICOMM Business Meeting and Reception at 7pm on April 5th.

More information about the Award selection criteria, nomination process, and previous recipients is available here.

More About R.S. Zaharna

R.S. (Rhonda) Zaharna is Professor of Public Communication, Director of the Global Media program in the School of Communication, American University, Washington,DC and Faculty Fellow with the Center on Public Diplomacy, University of Southern California. She is a former Fulbright Senior Scholar.

Dr. Zaharna specializes in public diplomacy, and intercultural and international strategic communication. In addition to teaching strategic communication for 30 years, she has advised on communication projects for multinational corporations, nongovernmental organizations, diplomatic missions, and international organizations, including the United Nations, World Bank, and USAID. She testified before the U.S. Congress on several occasions and has addressed diplomatic and academic forums on public diplomacy, including the Royal United Services Institute for Defense and Security Studies (RUSI) and DERSAT (Bahrain), NATO Defense College, Otago Foreign Policy School, German Institute for International and Strategic Affairs, Confucius Institute Global Conference, International Islamic University of Malaysia.

Her books include, Battles to Bridges: U.S. Strategic Communication and Public Diplomacy after 9/11 (Palgrave-Macmillan, 2010; 2014) The Connective Mindshift: Relational, Networked and Collaborative Approaches to Public Diplomacy (co-edited with Amelia Arsenault and Ali Fisher; Routledge, 2013) and The Cultural Awakening in Public Diplomacy (Figueroa Press, 2012). She is currently working on a new book “Globalizing Public Diplomacy: Communication in a Digitally Connected and Culturally Diverse World” (Oxford University Press), which explores how public diplomacy can serve a boundary spanning role in mediating across identities and cultures in the global arena.

Dr. Zaharna received Top Paper awards from the International Studies Association, International Communication Association, and National Communication Association. Her academic articles have appeared in the International Journal of Communication, The Hague Journal of Diplomacy, Communication Theory, Public Relations Review, Global Media Journal, Communication Quarterly, and International Journal of Intercultural Relations.

Dr. Zaharna has been particularly active in promoting junior and emerging scholars in public diplomacy. She created the annual “Emerging Scholars in Public Diplomacy” at the International Studies Association to showcase the research of PhD students from around the world. In 2018, Dr. Zaharna received the Outstanding Doctoral Mentoring award at American University.



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This entry was posted on March 12, 2018 by .
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