Natalie M. Rice, Ph.D., Research Associate II, has been employed at the University of Tennessee’s Center for Information and Communication Studies (CICS) since 2018. She has more than a decade of professional experience in public opinion, media studies, and international policy.
Dr. Rice currently splits her time between conducting research for the Usability and Assessment Working Group of DataONE, a National Science Foundation-funded interdisciplinary environmental cyberinfrastructure project, and other projects related to disinformation and propaganda.
Dr. Rice’s research is focused on the use of digital and social media disinformation, propaganda, and other information warfare techniques used by state actors targeting the U.S. and foreign audiences. She is also interested more broadly in Russia’s foreign policy, its influence campaigns and the resulting impacts on global security.
Natalie earned both her Master’s Degree and Ph.D. from the University of Tennessee in Communication and Information. Her dissertation was focused on the rise of anti-Americanism in Russia and the role of state-controlled mass media in fostering such attitudes. After graduating she worked at UT’s Institute for Nuclear Security, where she conducted research on global security issues.
Her published academic work includes eight articles in academic journals (including Columbia University's Journal of International Affairs and First Monday), three book chapters, and 20 research papers presented at various U.S. and international conferences. Dr. Rice has been interviewed by local and national media outlets, including CNN and a nationally syndicated radio show Background Briefings with Ian Masters. WBIR recently highlighted her work on disinformation spread through US social media by hostile foreign actors.
Dr. Rice’s passion for educating the public and sharing her knowledge of the issues related to propaganda, disinformation, and attempts of hostile foreign actors to influence American politics has been highlighted through a serious of public speaking engagements, including the Senior Lawyers Section of the Knoxville Bar Association, Knoxville’s Executive Women’s Association, Rotary Club, and the Howard Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy. In December 2017, Dr. Rice was invited to deliver remarks to the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Southeastern regional conference, attended by over 180 FBI agents and analysts. For her efforts in sharing with the Knoxville community her knowledge of international affairs and issues related to modern-day disinformation and propaganda, she was selected as a finalist for the 2017 YWCA Tribute to Women award in the category “Arts and Education”.
Natalie lives in Knoxville with her husband Dean and two step-daughters.