Prof. of Communication Studies
Director of the Maguire Center for Ethics & Public Responsibility
Rita Kirk, Director of the Cary M. Maguire Center for Ethics & Public Responsibility, is available to speak to the media as a political campaign and presidential debate expert. During the 2008 election season, she conducted debate dial tests for CNN and ABC-Hearst/Argyll, allowing her to provide unique insights into American politics.
Kirk is nationally recognized for her analysis of political and persuasive campaigns. She is the author of several award-winning books and numerous articles, including Political Empiricism: Communications Strategies in State and Regional Elections; Hate Speech, a book analyzing implications for hate discourse in public communication, with coeditor David Slayden; and Soundbite Culture: The Death of Discourse in a Wired World. Specializing in communication strategy, she has more than 30 years of experience as a strategist for city council, mayoral, state, U.S. Representative, and gubernatorial races.
In addition to her political consulting, Kirk has served as a communication consultant to several national and multinational corporations on public policy matters. She is also a professor at SMU, and has been recognized as an Altshuler Distinguished Teaching Professor and a Meadows Distinguished Professor. Kirk holds a bachelor's degree in Communication/Political Science and a master's degree in communications, both from the University of Arkansas. She received her Ph.D. in Communications from the University of Missouri.
- Public opinion
- Social media
- Voter behavior
- Political communications
Rita Kirk in the News