Shawn Turner

Shawn Turner

Professor of Practice

  • Communication


Shawn Turner is a Professor of Strategic Communication at Michigan State University, and a National Security Communication Analyst for CNN. He is an established expert in communication leadership, strategy, and crisis management. As an experienced practitioner, Turner’s teaching focuses on the intersection of communication theory, and the execution of effective communication practices. Turner’s research interests include examining the role of disinformation in decision making related to civic engagement, and the use of persuasive communication strategies in extremist ideology.   

Turner is also a retired Marine Corps officer and has served in communication leadership roles with governmental, private sector, and non-profit organizations. 

His previous positions include Director of Communication for U.S. National Intelligence, at the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, Assistant Press Secretary for Foreign Affairs at the National Security Council, and Deputy White House Press Secretary for National Security under the Obama administration.

Turner’s previous academic experience includes serving as Chair of the Information Operations program (renamed MDV Program) at the Daniel Morgan Graduate School of National Security in Washington DC, and as an adjunct professor in the University of Pennsylvania Law School.

Turner has been published in the USA today, on, and is the co-author of “Best Practices in Risk Communication for National Defense” published in The Handbook of Science and Technology for Homeland Security.

He is a member of the Board of Advisors for the National Security Agency (NSA), and serves on the Executive Board of Advisors for the Center for Ethics and the Rule of Law (CERL) at the University of Pennsylvania Law School.

Research and Teaching

Communication Ethics

Misinformation and False Narratives

Information Weaponization 

National Security Communication 

Media Consumption and Behavioral Intentions

Research Centers and Labs

Health and Risk Communication Center

Contact Information

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