The School of Media and Public Affairs (SMPA) is the only one of its kind in the capital of politics and media and we are able to explore the interplay of media and politics unlike anywhere else. Our community benefits from access to an extensive network, events with government leaders, distinguished journalists, and leading academics for thoughtful and balanced conversations that deliver unique insights.

SMPA is made up of a select group of students with an outstanding academic record and passion for politics, journalism, media, and communication. As an SMPA student, you will study, learn, and make lifelong friendships in a very special place. 

Our faculty members are top academics and professionals in their fields, bringing extensive experience and networks of knowledge into their classes. Our alumni such as Dana Bash, Reena Ninan, and Brendon Boyle are leaders in advocacy, politics, business, and journalism.






In an era of dramatic change, disinformation and misinformation, and information overload, we provide the skills, theory, ethics and experience necessary to communicate effectively and inspire change.




Meet the Director


Silvia Waisbord

Silvio Waisbord is Director and Professor in the School of Media and Public Affairs at the George Washington University (GW). Since joining GW in 2007, he has served the School as Director of Graduate Studies and Associate Director.  

Dr. Waisbord is the author/editor of eighteen books. His classic book Watchdog Journalism in South America is taught in universities across the world. His most recent books are Communication: A Post-Discipline and The Communication Manifesto. He has published close to 200 articles on investigative journalism, media scandals, communication studies, media policy, and global social change in academic journals in several languages. Between 2015 and 2018, he was Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Communication, the flagship journal in the field of communication, and he was also the Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal of Press/Politics between 2008 and 2014. Dr. Waisbord is a Fellow of the International Communication Association and is on the editorial boards of several media and communication journals.

He has lectured in universities in more than forty countries in Africa, the Americas, Asia, and Europe. He has provided guidance to international multilateral agencies, such as the Inter-American Development Bank, UNESCO, UNICEF, WHO, and the World Bank in development projects related to communication, journalism, and health programs. He has collaborated with non-government organizations in conducting studies and training journalists. He regularly appears in radio and television to provide commentary on the news industry as well as media and politics. He has given numerous keynote addresses at scholarly conferences, and won awards for teaching, research, and publication.

Born and raised in Argentina, Dr. Waisbord received a Licenciatura in Sociology from the Universidad de Buenos Aires. He moved to the United States in 1987 to start his doctoral studies. He received a Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of California, San Diego. He has held visiting appointments in universities in Europe, Latin America, and the United States.

When not working, Dr. Waisbord is playing an instrument - electric/acoustic guitar, charango, and piano, or taking long walks with the family dog Bodhi.





Claritza Jimenez




SMPA Alumna, Claritza Jiménez, B.A. ’05 Launches InColorStock

Claritza Jiménez, journalist and producer for Politico and The Washington Post, former Political Communication major in SMPA, and SMPA National Council member, launched a business-to-business site called InColorStock that she hopes will fill the market gap for culturally accurate, diverse images.   

An SMPA Degree at Work