Kathy R. Fitzpatrick
Director and Professor

Kathy Fitzpatrick
Kathy R. Fitzpatrick joined the University of South Florida in August 2020 as professor and director of the Zimmerman School of Advertising and Mass Communications. She comes to USF from American University (AU) in Washington, D.C., where she served as professor and former senior associate dean for academic affairs in the School of Communication. 

Prior to joining AU, Professor Fitzpatrick was associate dean of graduate programs and research in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Florida International University, where she directed the development of the school’s first fully online graduate program.

Other administrative appointments included founding director of the graduate program in public relations at Quinnipiac University, director of the graduate program in public relations and advertising at DePaul University; coordinator of the graduate program in public relations at the University of Florida; and head of the undergraduate program in public relations at Southern Methodist University. In 2009-2011, she was a research fellow and is currently a faculty fellow in the Center on Public Diplomacy in the Annenberg School at the University of Southern California. 

Professor Fitzpatrick is an internationally recognized scholar in public relations and public diplomacy. Her works include The Future of U.S. Public Diplomacy: An Uncertain Fate, U.S. Public Diplomacy’s Neglected Domestic Mandate, U.S. Public Diplomacy in a Post-9/11 World: From Messaging to Mutuality, Ethics in Public Relations: Responsible Advocacy, Public Relations Ethics and Journalism Ethics. 

Her research has been published in top scholarly journals in communication and diplomacy, including The Hague Journal of Diplomacy, the International Journal of Strategic Communications, the Journal of Public Relations Research, the Journal of Advertising, the Journal of Mass Media Ethics, the Journal of Communication Management and Public Relations Review. She won a number of awards for her research, including the 2020 Research Prize for Professional Relevance presented by the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication. In 2021, she will receive the Distinguished Scholar Award from the Diplomatic Studies Section of the International Studies Association, which recognizes a career of excellence in research and teaching in diplomacy.

Professor Fitzpatrick is the co-founding editor of the Palgrave Macmillan Book Series on Global Public Diplomacy and serves on the international advisory boards of The Hague Journal of Diplomacy and Public Diplomacy Magazine. She also serves on the editorial review boards of the Journal of Public Relations Research and the Journal of Mass Media Ethics and formerly served on the editorial board of Public Relations Review. She is a member of the Arthur W. Page Society, which represents corporate, agency and academic leaders in public relations. She formerly served as head of the Educators Academy of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) and is a former president of the Dallas Chapter of PRSA. She also served on the PRSA Board of Ethics and Professional Standards and was a member of the task force that developed the PRSA Code of Ethics. 

Professor Fitzpatrick received B.S. and M.S. degrees in journalism from West Virginia University and a J.D. from Southern Methodist University. She is licensed to practice law (currently inactive) in the State of Texas and accredited in public relations by the Public Relations Society of America.