Fields of Study
Advanced Academic Programs, Washington DC Center, Washington, DC

M. Karen Walker, Ph.D. is an adjunct faculty member of the Johns Hopkins University Krieger School of Arts and Sciences, Advanced Academic Programs, where she teaches speech writing, international PR and public diplomacy, and corporate social responsibility campaigns. Her current research explores societal acceptance and ethics of disruptive technologies, and artificial intelligence specifically. She is a member and has presented her research at conferences convened by the Kenneth Burke Society and National Communication Association, and has contributed essays to peer reviewed journals and books in terrorism studies and rhetorical criticism. She is also a member of the Public Diplomacy Alumni Association and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

She earned her Ph.D. in rhetoric and social change from the University of Maryland College Park in 2014, dissertating on the rhetorical dimension of soft power diplomacy. In addition to her studies, she served as a research assistant, guided students through academic course planning as a member of the Undergraduate Advising Office, taught public argumentation, and designed and led an undergraduate seminar on rhetorical criticism. She earned her M.A. in communication from the University of Maryland College Park in 1988.

Dr. Walker’s teaching and academic research draws on 30 years’ professional experience in writing and editing, advocacy and reputation management, change communications, and stakeholder and employee engagement. She is currently employed by the University of Virginia School of Engineering as a communications manager, supporting the Department of Materials Science and Engineering and the Charles L. Brown Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. From 2011 to 2019, Dr. Walker was strategic communications specialist with Booz Allen Hamilton, supporting clients in the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency and National Counterterrorsm Center as a speech writer, news writer and communications team lead.

Prior to joining Booz Allen, Dr. Walker served in the U.S. Department of State as a Franklin Fellow and foreign affairs officer, managing public affairs, policy planning and grant programs to advance democracy and governance, economic prosperity and sustainable development goals. Additionally, she led communications for the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Research and Development during its start-up years, 2003-2005, and performed similar duties for the Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy as an employee of the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.

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