Meet the Team


Eric Shiraev:

Eric B. Shiraev is a professor, researcher, author, and editor of more than twenty books on international relations, political psychology, comparative politicsand cross-cultural psychology. His multi-disciplinary approach emphasizes the role of culture and identity in politics. Among his current interests is research into character assassination and its impact on people’s reputation locally and globally. His research interests also include psychological warfare and defenses against it, psychological profiling of political leaders, history of science, folk beliefs, scientific foundations of spirituality, and immigration policies.

Sergei Samoilenko

Sergei Samoilenko:

Sergei A. Samoilenko is Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication at George Mason University. His research focuses on issues in crisis communication, reputation management, and public relations. He is a co-editor of Deception, Fake News and Misinformation Online and Media and Public Relations Research in Post-Socialist Societies.


Martijn Icks:

Martijn Icks is Lecturer in Ancient History at the University of Amsterdam. His PhD thesis was published under the title The Crimes of Elagabalus: The Life and Legacy of Rome’s Decadent Boy Emperor (2011). His current research interests include the visibility of Roman imperial power and character assassination from a historical perspective.


Jennie Keohane:

Jennifer Keohane is Assistant Professor in the Klein Family School of Communications Design at the University of Baltimore. She has a PhD in rhetoric from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she wrote her dissertation about the feminist activism of American Communist women during the early Cold War. She’s especially interested in red-baiting as a form of character assassination. Dr. Keohane is the author of Feminist Voices and Communist Rhetoric in Cold War America. The book explores how women affiliated with the Communist Party during the early Cold War sustained feminist activism during a repressive time period in U.S. history.

Mikayla Knutson is an undergraduate researcher currently studying at Rice University. She comes to us from previous experiences as a former congressional intern, a docent at the Drum Barracks Civil War Museum in Los Angeles, and a 2018 James A. Baker Institute fellow. Mikayla’s current research interests focus on the intersection of history and public memory of historical figures. To learn more about Mikayla’s research and her accolades, you can read more about her experience in her own words here.