Visiting Scholars and Diplomats

Diplomat in Residence

The Public Diplomacy program and the Center on Public Diplomacy are fortunate to host a diplomat in residence each year. The diplomat is a serving officer in the Senior Foreign Service on assignment from the Department of State with special experience of public diplomacy. The diplomat in residence co-teaches in the fall and typically offers a specialized class in their own area in the spring. 

Elizabeth McKay was the Acting Deputy Chief of Mission and formerly the Minister Counselor for Public Affairs at the U.S. Mission in South Africa until July 2018.  She was responsible for the day-to-day operations of the U.S. Embassy in Pretoria and the U.S. Consulates in Cape Town, Johannesburg, and Durban. As the Minister Counselor for Public Affairs, Elizabeth directed public diplomacy outreach, programmatic initiatives, and thoughtful dialogue with an audience of 57 million South Africans.

Elizabeth’s overseas public diplomacy assignments have included Rome, Ankara, Vientiane, San Jose, Chiang Mai, Bangkok and Calcutta. She also served in Washington, D.C. as the Director of Public Diplomacy for the State Department’s Bureau of Europe and Eurasian Affairs (EUR). In that position, she oversaw EUR’s Public Diplomacy operations for 50 diplomatic missions in Europe (2009-2012). Elizabeth also served as the Director of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) for Mexico (2000-2002) and subsequently as Deputy Director for INL’s Office of Africa, Asia and Europe (2003-2005). She is married to retired Foreign Service Officer Robert McKay. They have two children.

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Visiting Scholar

Every year since 2005 the Public Diplomacy program at USC has hosted a distinguished Canadian researcher in the field of public diplomacy studies to hold a special Fulbright chair. The professor is resident at the Center on Public Diplomacy and teaches a class in the M.P.D. program. For application details for the Visiting Scholar position, click here.  

Katarzyna Pisarska is an associate professor at Warsaw School of Economics and the Founder & Director of the European Academy of Diplomacy in Poland. She is also Program Director of the Warsaw Security Forum and a Young Global Leader with the World Economic Forum in Davos. In 2013 Dr. Pisarska was named “99 under 33” most influential world foreign policy leader by the Diplomatic Courier in Washington, D.C. 

Previously, Professor Pisarska was a Fulbright Visiting Fellow at Harvard University (2007), a Visiting Scholar at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies (2010), at the University of Oslo (2012) and at the Australian National University (2015). In her work, Professor Pisarska combines both her academic and practitioner experience in the field of public diplomacy. She is the author of the book The Domestic Dimension of Public Diplomacy: Evaluating Success Through Civil Engagement (Palgrave 2016). She specializes also in EU foreign policy, Eastern Partnership and EU-Russia relations.

Visiting Researchers

The Master of Public Diplomacy program regularly hosts visiting faculty and researchers from around the world. Current visitors include Dean and Professor Xiao Hua Feng (Nanchang Hangkong University, China), Fulbright Shuman scholar Dr. Agnieszka Lisowska (Spain/Poland), Dr. Guo Wei (Shanxi University, China).