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Mar 6: International Women's Day Celebration

To commemorate Women's History Month and in advance of International Women's Day, please join us for a special conversation about women's political participation around the world with seven female ambassadors representing their countries in the United States.  Reception to follow. 

Mar 26: Women & Israeli Politics Today

5:30 PM Abramson Family Recital Hall, Katzen Arts Center
Join the Center for Israel Studies and the Women & Politics Institute for an event featuring Einat Wilf, a former female member of the Israeli Parliament and leading public intellectual.


Mar 29: Special Discussion with Young Female Staff Members of the Obama White House


Apr 10: Evan Thomas's New Biography of Sandra Day O'Connor


Feb 15: How Ruth Bader Ginsburg Changed the World

The Doyle Forman Theater was packed with students, faculty and community members eager to watch On the Basis of Sex, the new film about Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s early years as a lawyer.  The film illustrated some of the formative cases that Ginsburg tackled, altering the precedent around gender and the law.  It also depicted the love story between Ginsburg and her husband, Marty, and how they worked together to change history. 

After the film, Betsy Fischer Martin moderated a discussion with Vicky Wilkins, Dean, School of Public Affairs and Beth Frank, Adjunct Associate Professor of Law, Washington College of Law, about their reactions to the film and how they think society has evolved since the crucial sex discrimination cases Ginsburg argued when she was a young lawyer.  Audience members questioned the panelists about their interpretation of changes in the legal system since the late 1970s. 

Feb 14: Galentine's Day Panel

Betsy Fischer Martin moderated a “Galentine’s Day” Panel sponsored by the Graduate Student Council featuring four SPA alumnae with a wide range of expertise. Tanya Aldridge is a Public Affairs Specialist in the Office of Public Affairs/Office of Inspector General at the Department of Homeland Security. Tracy Bellamy-Anderson is Senior Management Office at the Office of Management at the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. Kacey Buderi is Senior Analyst at MACPAC (Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission), and Kelly Mason is Content Manager at Leadership Connect

The panel discussed how they landed their current positions, the importance of networking, and the (sometimes painful) lessons they learned from their very first jobs.
Feb 7: Statewide Women's Policy Conference

WPI Adjunct Professor and Women In Government Executive Director Lucy Gettman presented on "Having Your Voice Heard" at the Statewide Women's Policy Conference in Chattanooga. Sponsored by Mayor Andy Berke's Mayor's Council for Women, the session was packed with elected officeholders & appointees, candidates, campaign leaders, advocates & entrepreneurs—every one a political leader in her own way.


The Women & Politics Institute is pleased to announce Madison Wheeler as the winner of the Drew Waverly Patterson Award, which honors students who are civic-minded and work for the good of all people.  Madison is a junior in the School of Public Affairs, majoring in Communications, Legal Institutions, Economics, and Government (CLEG).

In her time at AU, she has shown a commitment to WPI’s mission of closing the gender gap in political leadership through her extracurricular activities and coursework. Serving in Student Government, Madison coordinated health and self-care programming for the Women’s Initiative. She has also focused on gender justice issues in her courses, taking Women, Power and Politics and Gender Roles in the Economy. She plans to apply to law schools in various urban areas around the United States, including the American University Washington College of Law. She hopes to focus her legal career on criminal defense for indigent clients. She is also interested in political advocacy to expand the right to counsel.


At the February session of our WeLead training program, participants learned what it takes to run a successful political campaign, be it local or presidential, as the candidate or consultant. The day's dynamic speakers included Dr. Trace Lasley, Adjunct Professor at American University, on networking, Bailey Childers of H&R Block on field operations, Ashley O'Connor of Strategic Media Partners on advertising, Molly O'Rourke, of Hart Research and an Executive in Residence at American University, on polling, and Michele Nix of the Geneva Centre for Security Policy on speechwriting. They inspired the students to explore and discover who they trust, what they care about, when to run, where to get started, and how they can make a difference. Several commons themes emerged across the disciplines, including developing a core support network, listening to yourself, having a plan, and working hard.

WeLead Reader

Named after our nonpartisan WeLead leadership training program for young women, we created this curated weekend reading list for those interested in news and research about women in politics.  The email is delivered to inboxes on Saturday morning, so you can catch up on any news that you may have missed during your busy week.  If you haven't received it yet, please subscribe below.  You can also share it with interested family and friends.  Thanks for all the positive feedback so far.
Support the Women & Politics Institute

Thank you for your continued support to help us close the gender gap in political leadership.
About Us: 
The nonpartisan Women & Politics Institute at American University provides academic training to young women that encourages them to become involved in the political process and facilitates research by faculty and students that enhances our understanding of the challenges and opportunities women face in the political arena.

Our mailing address is:

Kerwin Hall, Room 109E 
4400 Massachusetts Avenue NW Washington, DC 20016

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American University · 4400 Massachusetts Ave NW · Kerwin 109e · Washington, DC 20016-8001 · USA