Professor of Political Science
Asa Griggs Candler Professor of Media and International Affairs
Holli A. Semetko is Asa Griggs Candler Professor of Media & International Affairs and Professor of Political Science at Emory University. She served as Vice Provost for International Affairs (VPIA), Director of Emory’s Office of International Affairs and The Claus M. Halle Institute for Global Learning since 2003. She stepped down from this administrative role in early 2013 to work on new research projects and teach, and she will join the ranks of Emory alumni as a graduate of Goizueta Business School’s executive MBA program in May.
The Sage Handbook of Political Communication, her most recent edited volume published in 2012, contains chapters on the latest research as well as country and regional developments by leading scholars from around the world. Her current research interests fall into three areas: corporate social responsibility (CSR), communication and change; strategic campaign management and information technology; and elections, media and international affairs.
An award-winning scholar with more than 90 publications, her research on information, public opinion, campaigns and international contexts extends from the U.S., Turkey, and the European Union (EU) to India, China, South Korea and Indonesia. Dr. Semetko is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, an advisor to The Carter Center China Program and the India, China & America Institute, and served as Board Chair of Emory's Confucius Institute in Atlanta from 2008-2013. She sits on a number of non-profit boards and is a consultant to international organizations.
Prior to moving to Atlanta in 2003, Dr. Semetko was Professor and Chair of Audience and Public Opinion Research and Chair of the Department of Communication Science at the University of Amsterdam, and founding Board Chair of the Amsterdam School for Communications Research (ASCoR), a graduate school for advanced research recognized by the Dutch Academy of Sciences (KNAW). Major grants from the European Union and Dutch National Science Foundation supported her cross-national research on information, campaigns and political and economic integration, with a team of PhD students and post-docs.
The Halle Institute's Knowledge Futures initiative, an interdisciplinary program that sponsors conferences, panels, and speakers to address critical issues about the digital, mediated and wireless world, was launched by Dr. Semetko, as were many new programs including the endowed Turkish Lecture Series; Cartooning for Peace at the United Nations and Cartooning for Peace and Health at Emory; and the annual India Summit. The Halle Institute’s study trip program was expanded under her leadership from Germany and India to Turkey, China, South Korea, Jordan, Brazil and Indonesia.
Semetko established the Halle Institute's research program in 2004 to advance faculty research and partnered with a variety of institutions to cosponsor symposia and conferences including: the European Central Bank; Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta; diplomatic missions from Argentina, Brazil, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Turkey and the UK; and Nanjing University’s Institute for Advanced Studies in Humanities and Social Sciences. Hundreds of scholars and students have benefited from the research program.
Semetko's years as VPIA were a time of unsurpassed growth in Emory’s international reputation, partnerships, teaching and research. Emory’s international alumni clubs grew more than ten-fold, the international student and scholar population grew eight-fold, and more than 100 international partnerships and programs were launched in countries around the world. Strategic alliances with institutions in India, China, South Korea and a number of other countries were launched and strengthened under her leadership.
Semetko received the Samuel H. Beer Dissertation Prize after completing her Ph.D. in political science and M.Sc. with distinction in political sociology at The London School of Economics & Political Science in the U.K. She was awarded fellowships from German Marshall Fund of the United States, and the Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, among other research grants. Previous academic appointments include Harvard University, Syracuse University, and University of Michigan. She completed the Senior Executive Program on Negotiation, Harvard Law School, in 2006.