Dr. Rita Kirk is the Director of the Cary M. Maguire Center for Ethics & Public Responsibility and a professor in the Division of Communication Studies at Southern Methodist University. Kirk is a member of the Altshuler Distinguished Faculty and a Meadow's Distinguished Teaching Professor. She also holds the "M Award" for teaching from the SMU student body.
Her research is in the area of political campaign communication, focusing on emergent technologies, the development of public arguments, and hate speech. Kirk and research partner Dan Schill serve as dial test analysts for CNN during the Presidential Primary debates and have served as analysts for a wide range of media organizations. During the summer months, Kirk serves as the director of the SMU-in-London program.