Public Affairs Professional Certificate

Public affairs communications is a rapidly growing field just looking for a place to take hold and grow young professionals armed with the skills necessary for careers in public policy, politics and advocacy. It is a specialized communications skill set aimed at educating, driving or changing public opinion around a public policy, legislation, political candidates or issues. It includes skills such as understanding and executing public opinion research, political and advocacy campaigns, grassroots and ally development, opinion writing, advocacy advertising, and new media mobilization, among others. It’s cutting-edge communications strategy for a digital age, designed to move public opinion and make a difference in the world.

Grady College students now have the opportunity to master these skills through classroom study and experiential learning at both the UGA Athens campus and through the new Grady@DC program in the heart of our nation’s capitol. Together with our partners at UGA’s School of Public and International Affairs, we’re poised to break new ground and inspire the next generation of public affairs communications professionals.

The Carolyn Caudell Tieger Professorship in Public Affairs Communications is the vision of alumna Carolyn Tieger (ABJ ’69), a Washington public affairs communications veteran who has committed a gift of $1 million to the University through her estate for an eventual chair. In February 2017, Joseph Watson was named the inaugural Tieger Professor in Public Affairs Communications. The Tieger Professor anchors the great student interest in public affairs communications careers at Grady, serves as liaison with our newly-created Washington, D.C. program and leads the Public Affairs Professional Certificate program the college has created in partnership with the School of Public and International Affairs.

With more than 100 Grady-SPIA double majors, Grady College has an opportunity to more directly prepare students for careers in public affairs communications – a rapidly evolving field of increasing importance to our graduates because it is a leadership track with excellent career prospects in press and media relations, campaign and issues management, advocacy advertising, policy, government and legislative affairs, corporate affairs and digital engagement.

Carolyn Tieger

A Washington, D.C., communications veteran based now in Naples, Fla., Tieger is one of the top public affairs strategists in the country, especially on tough legislative issues and reputation management. Her career spans the U.S. Congress, the White House, two international PR firms and her own company. Tieger chaired PR giant Burson-Marsteller’s worldwide environmental practice and she was managing partner of Porter Novelli’s Washington, D.C., office where she led the company’s global public affairs practice. Currently, Tieger is president of her own public affairs consulting business, entrePReneur Communications, LLC.

Tieger, a member of the Grady Fellowship, also serves on the Grady Board of Trust and the Cox International Center Board at Grady College. An active and involved participant in the program, she serves as a valuable resource for the Tieger Professor, Joseph Watson, Jr.

It was due to Tieger’s generous gift and pledge in 2013 that Grady College was able to establish the Carolyn Caudell Tieger Professorship in Public Affairs Communications.

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Public Affairs Professional Certificate Applications

The 2018 Application cycle will be Monday, Jan. 22 – Friday, March 9, at 5p.m. Interviews will follow with a decision being made by April 1.

Apply here

SPIA, Applied Politics 2018 Application


Grady @ DC

Grady@DC is a new Washington, D.C. program that is a hybrid of classroom study and experiential learning. Find out more.

Public Affairs Communications Board

Grady’s Public Affairs Communications Board serves as a resource to the college, as well as providing leadership and opportunities for our public affairs students. Find out more.

Grady's Public Affairs Communications Board
Joseph Watson, Carolyn Caudell Tieger Professor in Public Affairs Communications, Advertising & Public Relations
Joe Watson appointed Carolyn Caudell Tieger Professor of Public Affairs Communications
Watson leads first-ever Public Affairs Communications program in the nation The University of Georgia’s Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication announced the appointment of Joseph Watson, Jr. as the first Carolyn Caudell Tieger Professor of Public Affairs Communications. In this role, Watson will oversee the first program in the nation to provide students with […]
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New Grady@DC summer study program immerses students at epicenter of public affairs communications
Eight University of Georgia students are learning about the values and practice of public affairs communications in the nation’s capital in the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication’s newest domestic field study program, Grady@DC. The new Washington, D.C. program is a hybrid of classroom study and experiential learning. Grady@DC students are enrolled in a […]
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