Kyung Sun “Karen” Lee is Assistant Professor in Integrated Strategic Communications in the College of Communication and Media Sciences. She received her PhD degree from the University of Texas at Austin in 2018.

Lee’s research explores the intersections of public diplomacy, nation branding, and communication for social change. She is interested in exploring how humanitarian and development issues are communicated across digital platforms and global context as promotional and relationship-building strategies. 

Her research has been supported by various grants. She currently serves as a co-investigator in a multi-year research project that seeks to develop a digital public opinion monitoring system and to formulate conflict management strategies. She was a recipient of CPD Doctoral Dissertation Grant from University of Southern California’s (USC) Center on Public Diplomacy, and her studies have won top-paper awards at the International Communication Association (ICA) annual conference, 2018 and 2016. Lee’s research has appeared in peer-reviewed journals including International Journal of Communication, Computers in Human Behavior, and Journalism Studies.

Lee serves as Associate Editor in the Journal of Public Diplomacy.


Assistant Professor



Terminal degree



Awarding Institution

University of Texas at Austin, USA  

Research/Creative Areas 

Public diplomacy

Nation branding and national identity

Strategic communication for social change


Teaching Areas

Principles of strategic communication 

Media storytelling

Research methods

Professional links