US Air Force Office of Public Affairs Seeks Opportunities to Support Researchers

Information Professionals Association Member Dr. Tadd Sholtis, Chief of Strategy and Assessments in the U.S. Air Force Office of Public Affairs, is seeking opportunities to assist researchers in the information professionals community by providing access to relevant data, personnel, and information products, and other non-monetary support.

The Secretary of the Air Force’s Office of Public Affairs (SAF/PA)—which handles national and international public-facing communication for both the U.S. Air Force and the U.S. Space Force—is interested in assisting faculty or graduate students in relevant research during the 2022-23 academic year.  Research efforts should focus on the use of Service public affairs personnel and resources for deterrence, international partnership-building, information warfare, cognitive resilience among service members, or support of efforts to maintain strategic advantages in national security. Support would include access to relevant statistical data, information products, or interviews required for research, with other non-monetary support subject to discussion with the research liaison.

Potential areas of inquiry that SAF/PA can support include but are not limited to:

  1. Policies, procedures, structures or other factors affecting integration of service public affairs in the network of other Department of Defense and U.S. government communication agencies
  2. Public affairs recruiting, education, or training in the context of the skills, experiences or diversity needed for government communication that addresses enduring or expected security challenges
  3. The applicability of specific technical capabilities or operational models to the practice of military public affairs
  4. Factors that shaped the organization or standard methods of employing public affairs forces over time, and whether changes in the information environment disrupt those factors in ways that require specific changes
  5. The relative merits of centralized or decentralized methods of communicating with key public audiences, and how recommended approaches best balance the specific interests and information habits of specific audience groups with the need to achieve common institutional objectives
  6. The role of contemporary public communication activities in shaping policies, culture, investments, or other defining aspects of military institutions

Public affairs and its historical analogues have been the predominant external information capability of the U.S. military since its inception, and it remains the largest and most experienced corps of communication professionals able to conduct a wide range of daily information activities within existing authorities, an intergovernmental network of peers, established information platforms, and long-standing relationships with many of the most influential independent information sources on the planet.  Research in this area could inform practical solutions that can be implemented much faster than the timelines associated with more nascent capabilities.

For more information or to submit a partnership proposal, please contact Dr. Tadd Sholtis, SAF/PA’s chief of strategy and assessments, at

Listen also to U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Patrick Ryder discuss the evolution of military public affairs, media relations, and strategic communications on the Cognitive Crucible podcast: #46 Pat Ryder on Public Affairs and Strategic Communications.