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Elizabeth J. Natalle, Ph.D.

FLARE Member-at-large

Elizabeth J. Natalle, Ph.D., is a founding member of FLARE and serves on its board. She has a Ph.D. in communication theory and rhetoric from Florida State University and is an Associate Professor of Communication Studies at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.  A former president of the Carolinas Communication Association, she also serves on the editorial board of Women’s Studies in Communication. Dr. Natalle hails from Arlington, VA, and has been a keen observer of presidential politics all her life. Her interests in women speaking on the public platform led her to the study of first ladies as rhetorical agents of political and social change.

At UNCG, she taught a graduate seminar on Michelle Obama and an emeritus course entitled Persuasive First Ladies. Within the National Communication Association, Dr. Natalle organized seminars for members of the first ladies listserv at the Smithsonian (2013) and the George W. Bush Institute (2017). She is the co-author of The Woman’s Public Speaking Handbook (2004); co-editor of Michelle Obama: First Lady, American Rhetor (2015); and author of Jacqueline Kennedy and the Architecture of First Lady Diplomacy (2018).

Dr. Natalle is particularly interested in the persuasive strategies and unique features of first lady communication and is currently at work on a book with three other scholars that explores the way modern first ladies use persuasion to achieve goals that promote American civil society.

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