Kara N. Dillard is an Assistant Professor in Digital Democratic Practice in the School of Communication Studies and the Director of Research for the Institute for Constructive Advocacy and Dialogue (ICAD) at James Madison University, and is the operations specialist for Common Ground for Action (CGA), a joint project of the Kettering Foundation and the National Issues Forums Institute. She holds degrees in communication studies and earned a PhD in sociology from Kansas State University.
Dillard is an expert in online deliberation, having developed innovative programming and curriculum to convene civil discussions using the CGA online deliberation platform. She works in university settings and with community organizations to design public engagement processes that help groups address local, wicked issues both face-to-face and online. As a professionally trained facilitator, she has convened and moderated more than 100 deliberative dialogs across a series of topics on her campus, in the community, and online. Her current research examines the behavioral and attitudinal effects of citizen deliberation in online spaces, particularly using the Common Ground for Action online deliberative platform. She has published in the Journal of Applied Communication Research, Journal of Political Science Education, and the International Journal of Communication.