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Holli A. SemetkoAsa Griggs Candler Professor


  • M.Sc., Ph.D., The London School of Economics & Political Science
  • M.B.A., Emory University


Holli A. Semetko, MSc PhD (The London School of Economics & Political Science) MBA (Emory), is Asa Griggs Candler Professor of Media and International Affairs and Professor of Political Science at Emory University in Atlanta, where she served as Vice Provost for International Affairs (VPIA), Director of the Office of International Affairs and The Claus M. Halle Institute for Global Learning from 2003 to early 2013. With over 100 publications, her research on influence, strategy and campaigns in international contexts extends from the US, UK, Germany, Turkey and the European Union (EU), to India, China and South Korea. Dr. Semetko often speaks internationally most recently at institutions in India and China including the Reserve Bank of India in Mumbai and Xi'an Jiaotong University School of Management among others.

A 2013-14 Fulbright Nehru Scholar and Honorary Professor at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT-Bombay), Dr. Semetko lived in Mumbai for the last half of 2013 where her daughters attended the American School of Bombay. She conducted research on strategic communication and corporate social responsibility (CSR) in India, and launched a large benchmark study on media and campaigning in the 2014 national election with an international team of Indian scholars, with a grant from Emory's University Research Council. Dr. Semetko continues to serve as Visiting Professor at IIT-Bombay and IIT-Roorkee where she addressed 900 students in the incoming class of 2018. She has visited over a dozen of India's states and Union territories to speak, strengthen partnerships, and connect with Emory friends and families.

Dr. Semetko's tenure as VPIA and Director was 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 a number of countries were launched and strengthened under her leadership.

As VIPA and Halle Institute director, Dr. Semetko led teams of entrepreneurial students, faculty and donors to launch several notable programs. She launched the Halle Institute's Knowledge Futures initiative, an interdisciplinary program that sponsors forums to address critical issues about the digital, mediated and wireless world; 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. Semetko established the Halle Institute's research program in 2004 to advance faculty research and partnered with a variety of institutions to cosponsor symposia including the European Central Bank; Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta; diplomatic missions from Argentina, Brazil, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Turkey and the UK; Seoul National University and Nanjing University's Institute for Advanced Studies in Humanities and Social Sciences. Hundreds of scholars and students have benefited from the research program. The Halle Institute's study trip program was expanded from Germany and India to Belgium, Brazil, China and Hong Kong, Jordan, South Korea, Indonesia and Turkey.

Dr. Semetko served eight years as Professor and Chair of Audience and Public Opinion Research at the University of Amsterdam (UvA), where she also led the Department of Communication Science, ranked #2 in the world for communication & media studies (QS 2016-17).  She obtained over 1.5 million euros in research grants, launched & served as founding board chair of the Amsterdam School of Communications Research (ASCoR), an advanced institute for research and graduate training, where she remains an honorary professor. She has also held fellowships from Harvard University's Shorenstein Center for the Press, Politics and Public Policy, and the German Marshall Fund of the United States.

An award-winning scholar, Dr. Semetko's PhD was awarded the Samuel H. Beer Dissertation Prize and took the MSc in political sociology with distinction at the LSE.  An advisor to The Carter Center China Program, Dr. Semetko serves on a number of boards and consults internationally. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, Emory's Center for Ethics, and the Academy of International Business.