Nicholas J. Cull is Professor of Public Diplomacy and director of the Master of Public Diplomacy program at USC. He took both his BA and PhD at the University of Leeds. While a graduate student, he studied at Princeton as a Harkness Fellow of the Commonwealth Fund of New York. From 1992 to 1997 he was lecturer in American History at the University of Birmingham in the UK. From September 1997 to August 2005 he was Professor of American Studies and Director of the Centre for American Studies in the Department of History at Leicester.
His research and teaching interests are broad and inter-disciplinary, and focus on the role of culture, information, news and propaganda in foreign policy. He is the author of The Cold War and the United States Information Agency: American Propaganda and Public Diplomacy, 1945-1989 (Cambridge 2008), named by Choice Magazine as one of the Outstanding Academic Texts of 2009. His first book, Selling War, published by OUP New York in 1995, was a study of British information work in the United States before Pearl Harbor. He is the co-editor (with David Culbert and David Welch) of Propaganda and Mass Persuasion: A Historical Encyclopedia, 1500-present (2003) which was one of Book List magazines reference books of the year, co-editor with David Carrasco of Alambrista and the U.S.-Mexico Border: Film, Music, and Stories of Undocumented Immigrants (University of New Mexico Press, Albuquerque, 2004), and co-author with James Chapman of Projecting Empire: Imperialism in Popular Cinem a (IB Tauris, London 2009). He has published numerous articles on the theme of propaganda and media history. He is an active film historian who has been part of the movement to include film and other media within the mainstream of historical sources.
He is president of the International Association for Media and History, a member of the Public Diplomacy Council, and has worked closely with the British Council's Counterpoint Think Tank.