Dr. Relly serves as Director of Global Initiatives for the School's Center for Border and Global Journalism. She also holds a courtesy appointment with the School of Government and Public Policy and is an affiliated faculty member of the Center for Latin American Studies, Center for Middle Eastern Studies, the Center for Digital Society & Data Studies, the Human Rights Practice Program and the Humanitarian Assistance Technical Support Faculty.
Professor Relly’s research focuses on global influences on news media systems, government information policy, press-state relations, and democratic institutions, including freedom of expression and access to public information in countries that often are in conflict, post-conflict, or in political or economic transition. Three of her most recent projects have focused on collective action and the influence of global networks or social movements on freedom of expression and access to public information. She also has a line of research focused on formal and informal institutions related to democratic governance, including issues related to public corruption, whistleblower protection and disinformation.
Research and outreach with collaborators has been conducted in Afghanistan, India, Iraq, Mexico, Peru, Sri Lanka, Tunisia, the U.S., the West Bank and Gaza, and Yemen. Her research includes more than a half dozen cross-national studies and a dozen single-nation projects focused on factors influencing democratic governance, such as information-access rights and various forms of insecurity. Outreach has focused on digital security, counter-disinformation strategies and access to information in countries with information-rights legislation.
Dr. Relly was a Fulbright research scholar in India (2016-2017) and served on the Fulbright Specialist roster (2015-2022). She also was a research fellow with Columbia University's Tow Center for Digital Journalism. She served as head of the International Communication Division of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication and as chair of the organization’s Elected Standing Professional Freedom and Responsibility Committee.
Before joining the faculty, Dr. Relly worked for more than a dozen years as a journalist reporting in a number of states, the Caribbean and the Mexico-U.S. borderlands.
She has developed and taught courses focused on theory and practice; quantitative and qualitative research methods; media and humanitarian crises; disinformation and information security; media and terrorism; media and human rights, freedom of expression and the right to information; reporting; and data gathering and data analysis.