Research Team


EricEric Shiraev is a professor, researcher, and author. He took his academic degrees at St. Petersburg University in Russia and completed a post-doctoral program in the United States at UCLA. He is an author, co-author, and co-editor of fourteen books and numerous publications in the fields of international relations, government, political psychology, and cross-cultural studies. In his works, he develops a distinct multi-disciplinary approach to foreign policy and political behavior and emphasizes the role of cultural and identity factors in politics. Besides teaching and research, Eric Shiraev writes opinion essays for the media, and lectures around the world. 



SergeSergei Samoilenko is a public relations instructor in the Department of Communication at George Mason University. He is the past president of the Eurasian Communication Association of North America. His professional service is focused on bridging academic and professional communities in the areas of crisis communication, public relations and Eurasian studies. He developed and held numerous workshops and webinars on strategic communication in the US and internationally. Sergei’s new research focuses on issues in character assassination and reputation management in public relations.



MartijnMartijn Icks is a Lecturer in Ancient History at the University of Amsterdam. His PhD thesis was published under the title The Crimes of Elagabalus: The Life and Legacy of Rome’s Decadent Boy Emperor (2011). His current research interests include the visibility of Roman imperial power and character assassination from an historical perspective.




headshotJennifer Keohane is an assistant professor in the Klein Family School of Communications Design at the University of Baltimore. She has a PhD in rhetoric from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she wrote her dissertation about the feminist activism of American Communist women during the early Cold War. She's especially interested in red-baiting as a form of character assassination.


Nancy Snow (Ph.D., American SIS) is a leading authority in public diplomacy (reputation, credibility, gender diplomacy) and propaganda studies. She was Presidential Management Fellow at the U.S. Department of State and U.S. Information Agency during the Bill Clinton Administration. Snow is Professor Emeritus of Communications at California State University, Fullerton. A resident of Tokyo, Japan, she holds a distinguished professor appointment as Pax Mundi Professor of Public Diplomacy, Kyoto University of Foreign Studies, the first such public diplomacy position in the country. Over her 25-year career, Dr. Snow has held two Fulbright Fellowships (Germany, Japan), a Social Science Research Council Abe Fellowship as well as a number of global visiting professor appointments in public diplomacy. These include Tsinghua University (China), Sophia and Keio universities (Japan), Interdisciplinary Center-Herzliya (Israel), and stateside at Syracuse University Newhouse School and the University of Southern California Annenberg School. At USC, she was a principal faculty consultant in the establishment of the Center on Public Diplomacy. In 2020, Snow holds a distinguished visiting professor endowed appointment as Walt Disney Chair in Global Media and Communication, Schwarzman College, Tsinghua University. Among her thirteen books are The Sage Handbook of Propaganda (with co-editors Paul Baines and Nicholas O’Shaughnessy); the Routledge Handbook of Public Diplomacy (with Nicholas J. Cull); Japan’s Information War (Japanese/English versions); Propaganda, Inc. and Information War (Seven Stories Press); and Propaganda and American Democracy (LSU Press.)



JJSJason Smart is a professional political operative splitting his time between Ukraine and Ecuador, while working in national politics in three Eastern European countries and South America. Prior to his work in Ukraine, Jason worked on the Presidential campaign of U.S. Senator Ted Cruz, leading the Digital Outreach and Data Analytics Division. He has his Bachelor of Arts from George Mason University, Master’s from Virginia Tech and is completing his doctoral dissertation about character assassination in the context of US-Russian relations at Moldova State University.



Richard Sheehe is a Senior Research Fellow in Mason's Department of Communication and a Practitioner in Residence at CARP. He curates thought leadership events and develops best practices in PR and reputation management by combining real-world expertise with deeper research understandings into how people interpret and respond to corporate and organizational messages. A former NBC national news correspondent and writer for the New York Times and Associated Press, Richard has served in senior PR/Marketing executive and consulting roles for more than 20 years. He is also a seasoned media training and crisis communications expert and currently serves as Senior Strategist for the Merritt Group, an integrated PR/Marketing/Creative agency with offices in Tysons, Virginia and San Francisco.   



Farah Latif is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Communication at George Mason University. Her dissertation aims to develop a measurement scale for reputations of individuals and highlights the role social media plays in the creation, perpetuation, and maintenance of reputations. Her research also includes political comedy and political scandals. Her past research includes topics such as U.S. public diplomacy to counter violent extremism and cultural awareness in international healthcare campaigns. Farah is an instructor of public speaking and issue management courses.

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Asra Q. Nomani is a former Wall Street Journal reporter and an author with St. Martin’s Press. She holds an MA in international communications from American University, and she is an expert in journalism, media analysis, cross-cultural communications, propaganda, countering violent extremism and civil discourse. A former professor in the practice of journalism at Georgetown University, she is codirector of the Pearl Project, an investigative reporting collaboration between professionals and students. The first Pearl Project investigation uncovered the network of militants in Pakistan involved in the kidnapping and murder of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl. She is a frequent commentator on current events on media outlets from CNN to Fox News, MSNBC, BBC, NPR and “Real Time” with Bill Maher. Her work has appeared in publications including the Washington Post, the New York Times and TIME, among many others. She is the author of Standing Alone: An American Woman’s Struggle for the Soul of Islam (HarperOne, 2005).