ed downes

Edward Downes

Associate Professor, Public Relations

About Edward Downes

Dr. Downes holds a broad view of public relations education, promotes interdisciplinary scholarship, and teaches classes favoring intellectual as well as practical training. He has taught 5,019 students, working on six continents, through the 237 courses; delivered 43 academic presentations in ten countries; done administrative/humanitarian work in China, Haiti, and Honduras; and advised 59 independent studies and graduate theses/creative projects.

He is an affiliate to the College of Communication’s Doctoral Program in Emerging Media Studies; directs the Master’s in Advertising Program at Boston University’s Metropolitan College; is a fellow in College’s Communication Research Center; and completed the Future of the Professoriate Program. He has received “Outstanding Service,” “Professor of the Semester,” and “Lyndon Baines Johnson Advisor of the Year” awards, and for 14 years he was a member of the University’s Faculty-in-Residence program.

He received “top paper” awards from three international conferences’ public relations/political communication divisions and has published his research in five academic journals. A final manuscript his book, The Politics and PR of Capitol Hill’s Image Makers: The Role of the Congressional Press Secretary, is under review by Bloomsbury Publishing.

Prior to joining academia, upon graduating from college, he was awarded a Lyndon Baines Congressional Internship on Capitol Hill. For the next ten years--throughout metropolitan Washington, D.C. working in all three sectors (private, public, and nonprofit)--he held positions ranging from public relations director and marketing representative to personnel specialist and campaign organizer. Among his employers were the United States Congress, two international trade associations, CapitalCare (a subsidiary of Blue Cross/Shield), and The Wonder Company (a special events firm).

He has served as a speaker for multiple organizations, among them: the Public Relations Society of America, the United Way, Harvard University’s Medical School, the Publicity Club of New England Masters’ Institute, Boston Women Communicators, the National Association of Governors’ Councils on Physical Fitness and Sports, et al.

Drawing from a broad professional and academic background, Dr. Downes encourages his students to evaluate where scholarly/intellectual/theoretical principles intersect with professional/applied/workplace practices. Or, put another way: “to think about where ‘the academy’ meets ‘the industry….’”


  • · Ph.D. Syracuse University
  • · Post-Master’s University of Maryland
  • · M.P.A. George Mason University
  • · B.A. St. Bonaventure University