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People  •  Communication Studies, CAMD  •  Chair, Professor

Maria Elena Villar


Communication Studies, CAMD


  • PhD, Communication, University of Miami
  • MPH, Health Education, Community Health, University of Miami
  • BA, Economics, Columbia University


Dr. Villar comes to Northeastern from Florida International University where she has taught in the School of Communication and Journalism since 2007, and was promoted to full professor in 2021. She served as Chair of the Department of Communication and then Associate Dean of Strategic Communication for the College of Communication, Architecture + The Arts.

Villar’s research is situated at the intersection of strategic communication and health/science communication, focusing on community engagement with under-represented and hyper-vulnerable populations. She has published over forty peer-reviewed journal articles, book chapters, and articles in conference proceedings, and has been the PI or Co-PI on several multidisciplinary sponsored research projects.

She has led efforts in improving equity, diversity and inclusion in academia and is committed to continuing this work at Northeastern.