Skip to main content
Expand AU Menu

For the Media

AU Experts Available to Comment on 2008 Congressional & Presidential Elections

WASHINGTON, D.C.—More than 20 American University experts are available to provide analysis of John McCain’s and Barack Obama’s plans for the economy, the environment, and the Iraq war as well as topics such as presidential history, voting behavior, polling, survey research, and public opinion. For complete expert profiles, see AU's online experts guide.


William LeoGrande, dean of AU’s School of Public Affairs and a professor of government, will attend the Democratic National Convention. He is an expert on Congress and foreign policy; U.S.–Latin American politics and relations; Cuban history, politics and relations with the United States; El Salvador; and Nicaragua.

Dotty Lynch, an executive in residence at American University and political consultant for CBS News, will attend both theDemocratic and Republican national conventions. Her areas of expertise are survey research, polling, campaigns and elections, women in politics, and journalism. This fall, Lynch will be teaching the course Election ’08: Politics, Polls, and the Youth Vote.

Jamin Raskin will be attending the Democratic National Convention as a delegate for Maryland. He is the director of the Washington College of Law’s Program on Law and Government, is the founder of the school’s acclaimed Marshall-Brennan Constitutional Literacy Project. He can discuss voting rights, law of the American political process; campaign finance; state, local, and national politics.


Sarah Brewer, associate director of AU’s Women and Politics Institute, was recently named one of the most powerful women in Washington, D.C., by Elle magazine. She can speak about the role of women in political leadership and political campaigns.

Curtis Gans, director of AU’s Center for the Study of the American Electorate, is a preeminent expert on issues surrounding citizen political participation in the United States during the past three decades.

Allan J. Lichtman, a professor of history, is a leading expert on presidential and congressional campaigns, voting behavior, public opinion, and political history. He is well known for his “13 keys” system, which predicted President Clinton’s victory in 1996, George H.W. Bush’s defeat in 1992, and the outcome of the 1988 presidential election.

David Lublin, a professor of government, is an expert on elections and minority representation. His work on race and redistricting was cited by the Supreme Court in Georgia v. Ashcroft (2003) and LULAC v. Perry (2006).

Candice Nelson, director of AU's Campaign Management Institute, is an expert on campaign finance, voting behavior, interest groups, political party identification, and political action committees.

Karen O'Connor is the director of AU's Women and Politics Institute. She has written or coauthored more than 20 publications, including American Government: Roots and Reform and Women, Politics, and American Society.

Richard Semiatin, an assistant professor of political science, has taught courses in American politics and government for AU’s Washington Semester Program since 1991. He is the editor and an author of the forthcoming book Campaigns on the Cutting Edge (CQ Press, 2008), which examines how campaigns will change during the next decade. Steven Taylor, an associate professor of government, is an expert in urban politics and the politics of race and ethnicity. His most recent published article, “Political Culture and African Americans' Forgiveness of Elected Officials,” appeared in Polity.



Robert Losey, a professor of finance, is an expert on the American economy at-large; subprime mortgages; financial markets, including banking and thrift institutions, financial futures, and mortgage markets; speculation and hedging; and investments.


Robert Durant is a professor of public administration and policy, and an expert on environmental and natural resource policy. He is the author or coauthor of the books Managing for the Environment: Understanding the Legal, Organizational, and Policy Challenges; Environmental Governance Reconsidered: Challenges, Choices, and Opportunities; and The Greening of the U.S. Military: Environmental Policy, National Security, and Organizational Change.

Matthew Nisbet, an associate professor of communication, tracks scientific and environmental controversies while examining the interactions between experts, journalists and various publics. His areas of expertise are the intersection between the media, politics, and science; political communication; public opinion research; and citizen activism


Robert Karch, a professor of health and fitness, is the executive director and founder of the National Center for Health Fitness. He can speak extensively about health care reform, health promotion, health care cost-containment for multinational corporations, global health policy, and employee health promotion programs.


Gordon Adams, a professor of international relations, is a former senior White House official for national security and foreign relations budgets. He can address national security policy, defense policy, the Iraq War, and transatlantic national security relationships.

Akbar Ahmed, a professor of international relations, is Pakistan's former high commissioner (ambassador) to the United Kingdom. A renowned expert on Islam, he can comment on the Iraq War, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and conflicts within the Muslim world and the Middle East.


Binny Miller is the director of the Criminal Justice Clinic and a professor of law in American University’s Washington College of Law. She is an expert on voter’s rights and elections.

Jamin Raskin, director of the Washington College of Law’s Program on Law and Government, is the founder of the school’s acclaimed Marshall-Brennan Constitutional Literacy Project. He can discuss voting rights, law of the American political process; campaign finance; state, local, and national politics.



Richard Benedetto, who teaches communication and public affairs, is a retired White House correspondent and columnist for USA Todayand Gannett News Service. He can comment on national politics and elections, the White House and the presidency, American political parties, political polling, and media performance and criticism.

Wendell Cochran, associate professor of communication, is an expert on computer use in journalism, Internet use by government agencies, and campaign finance coverage. He developed a campaign finance Web site that provides journalists with easy access to the latest information on financial contributions to national campaigns.

Lauren Feldman is an assistant professor of communication who has done extensive research into late-night comedy’s impact on political races. She can comment on political communication; effects of the media on political knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors; cable news; the political implications of late-night comedy; and youth and politics.

Jane Hall, an associate professor of communication, specializes in covering issues in the news media, including ethics in journalism and politics and the media. A former correspondent for the Los Angeles Times, Hall has written about the media and is a weekly panelist on Fox News Watch, Fox News Channel's media-analysis program. 

Leonard Steinhorn, a professor of communication, is a former congressional speechwriter, press secretary, and policy advisor frequently sought by the media for commentary about the presidency, political campaigns, and the media’s role in politics and elections.

American University is a leader in global education, enrolling a diverse student body from throughout the United States and nearly 140 countries. Located in Washington, D.C., the university provides opportunities for academic excellence, public service, and internships in the nation’s capital and around the world.