Zifei Fay Chen headshot

Zifei "Fay" Chen

Associate Professor

Program Coordinator
Full-Time Faculty


Dr. Zifei “Fay” Chen is an associate professor in the Communication Studies Department and oversees the Public Relations Minor program. Specialized in public relations and strategic communication, Dr. Chen’s research foci include corporate social responsibility and advocacy, startup and entrepreneurial communication, digital communication, and prosocial communication.

Dr. Chen has produced over 35 refereed journal articles, book chapters, and books. Her work has been published in leading refereed journals including the Journal of Public Relations Research, Public Relations Review, New Media and Society, and Journal of Product and Brand Management. She co-authored the book Strategic Communication for Startups and Entrepreneurs in China (Routledge Taylor & Francis). Professionally, Dr. Chen previously worked at Ketchum and Fiserv, and provides communication consultancy for organizations. She is a board member of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) San Francisco Bay Area Chapter, executive committee member for the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC) Public Relations Division, advisory board member for the International Public Relations Research Conference (IPRRC), Page Up member at the Arthur W. Page Society, and ELEVATE member at the Institute for Public Relations. She also serves on the editorial boards for the Journal of Public Relations Research, Public Relations Review, Public Relations Journal, and Journal of Communication Management.


  • Public relations
  • Strategic communication
  • Social media strategies

Research Areas

  • Corporate social responsibility and advocacy
  • Startup and entrepreneurial communication
  • Social media and digital communication
  • Prosocial communication


  • Program Coordinator, Public Relations Minor
  • Founding faculty advisor, Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA), University of San Francisco Chapter


  • University of Miami, PhD in Communication, 2017
  • University of Georgia, MA in Journalism and Mass Communication, 2013
  • Zhejiang University, BA in English with Honors Minor in Innovation and Entrepreneurship, 2011

Awards & Distinctions

  • IPR ELEVATE Member, Institute for Public Relations, 2024--Present
  • Page Up Member, Arthur W. Page Society, 2023--Present
  • University of San Francisco Sarlo Prize for Excellence in Teaching Award, 2023
  • Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) San Francisco Bay Area Chapter Woman of the Year, 2022
  • University of San Francisco Innovation in Teaching with Technology Award, 2020