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Cleveland Braces for Republican National Convention

American University Experts Available for Comments

Cleveland Braces for Republican National Convention
American University Experts Available for Comments

Contact: All media requests, call 202-885-5950 or e-mail:

American University experts are available for the commentary and analysis of the Republican National Convention.

WHERE: Anita McBride will be on-the-ground in Cleveland, OH, July 18-20 at the Republican National Convention.
Other American University experts are available from July 13 onward for commentary and analysis from the American University campus in Washington, D.C.

WHO: In Cleveland, OH, from July 18-20: Anita McBride served as an assistant to President George W. Bush and chief of staff to First Lady Laura Bush. She also served in the Reagan and George H.W. Bush administrations. McBride has coordinated three presidential transitions and is actively involved in international women’s issues. McBride’s work at American University has led to a partnership with the National Archives and the White House Historical Association for a series of conferences focusing on the role of the First Ladies of the United States.

From Washington:
Campaign & Election/ Presidential Powers/ First Ladies/First Men Experts
Richard Benedetto, professor of journalism, covered every national convention since 1972. Benedetto covered the White House for USA Today from the Reagan through the George W. Bush administrations.

Chris Edelson
, assistant professor of government, is the author of Power without Constraint: The Post 9/11 Presidency and National Security. He is available to discuss issues of presidential national security authority in the context of the presidential election and Congress's role regarding national security and the use of military force, among other topics.

Robert Lehrman, professor of public communication, is a former speechwriter for Vice President Al Gore and dozens of other Democratic political figures.

Allan Lichtman, distinguished professor of history, is an expert in the presidency, party conventions, election prediction, presidential and congressional campaigns, voting behavior, public opinion politics, and American political history and analysis. Lichtman is well known for his "13 Keys" system, through which he has correctly predicted the winner of every presidential race since 1984.

David Lublin, professor of government, is an expert on race and ethnicity, congressional elections, partisanship, redistricting, and electoral systems.

Candice Nelson, associate professor of government, is an expert on presidential and congressional elections and also studies voting behavior. Her book Grant Park: The Democratization of Presidential Elections 1968-2008 looks at how the convention processes have evolved.

James Thurber, director of American University’s Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies, is a leading expert on campaigns and elections, presidential-congressional relations, and author of Obama in Office and American Gridlock: The Sources, Character and Impact of Political Polarization, among other highly-regarded political books and articles.

Politics and Media
Jane Hall, professor of journalism, specializes in issues related to politics and media ethics, women in politics and media, young people and the news, and young people and politics.

Leonard Steinhorn, professor of public communication, is an expert in U.S. politics, the presidency, strategic communication, culture and media, and recent U.S. history. Steinhorn regularly appears in the media.

Scott Talan, professor of public and strategic communication, is an expert in social media and personal branding. He can provide analysis of the social media reaction, what messages resonated with social media users and trending convention topics.

Voting Behavior
Jan Leighley, professor of government, is an expert on American political behavior, racial/ethnic political behavior, voter turnout, and the intersection of media and politics. She is an author of Who Votes Now? Demographics, Issues, Inequality, and Turnout in the United States.

Women & Politics
Jennifer Lawless, director of American University’s Women and Politics Institute, is a nationally recognized expert on women's issues and women’s participation in the political process. Her latest book is Women on the Run: Gender, Media, and Political Campaigns in the Polarized Era.

Elizabeth Sherman, assistant professor in the School of Public Affairs, is an expert on issues concerning women in public life, economic challenges facing women in the workplace, and the potential for statewide policies on family leave and comparable worth.

Government/ Accountability
Barbara Romzek is the Dean of AU’s School of Public Affairs. Her research and expertise focus on public management and accountability with emphases on contracting and government reform.

Vicky Wilkins
is the Senior Associate Dean of AU’s School of Public Affairs. Her expertise includes gender and race issues, representation, diversity, deservingness and policy implementation.
Education Policy

Dave Marcotte, professor in the School of Public Affairs, is available to discuss the determinants of achievement in K-12 education; the importance of cost on attainment in higher education; and interventions to improve attainment science and math (STEM) education.

Environmental Policy
Daniel Fiorino, Director of the Center for Environmental Policy and Executive in Residence in AU’s School of
Public Affairs, is available to discuss the Environmental Protection Agency, environmental policy, energy
and climate change, environmental sustainability, and public management of natural resources.

Reproductive Rights
Jessica Waters, Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education and professor in the School of Public Affairs, is an expert on reproductive rights law, legal impact of women’s medical decisions during pregnancy and childbirth, employment-based conscience protections for reproductive health care providers, and the reproductive rights of employees working for religiously affiliated employers.

U.S. Foreign Policy/ International/ Trade National Security
Tricia Bacon, assistant professor in the School of Public Affairs, specializes in terrorism, particularly Al-Qaida, the Islamic State, Lashar-e-Tayyiba, al-Shabaab, and other jihadist groups, counterterrorism policy and tactics, Pakistan, Afghanistan, India, and East Africa.

Lt. Gen. David W. Barno, USA (Ret.), distinguished practitioner in residence in the School of International Service, is an authority on military operations, the changing character of conflict, civil-military issues, and leader development.

Brad Bartholomew, professorial lecturer, is an expert on the causes and consequences of terrorism and the impacts of state and local counterterrorism policy. He is also available to discuss the impact of state and federal legislation on acts of violent protest, and community-oriented policing tactics and their impacts on crime and the fear of crime.

Nora Bensahel, distinguished scholar-in-residence in the School of International Service, is a widely published expert on issues related to national security, defense, and foreign policy.

Michelle Egan, Jean Monnet Professor in the School of International Service and Global Europe Fellow at the Wilson Center, is an expert on U.S-European foreign policy and EU affairs, trade, and transatlantic relations.

Miles Kahler, professor in the School of International Service, can comment on U.S. foreign policy, particularly toward Asia and Europe, globalization, global and regional institutions and their future, international economic issues and agreements.

Jordan Tama, assistant professor in the School of International Service, can discuss foreign policy and national security strategy; terrorism; the intelligence community; and the presidency and U.S. Congress.

Stephen Tankel, assistant professor, specializes in terrorism and counterterrorism with a special focus on the Middle East, North Africa, and South Asia, including Afghanistan.

Joe Young, associate professor in the School of International Service, is an expert in cross-national causes and consequences of political violence and extremism and can discuss ISIS; threat of domestic extremism; domestic surveillance and homeland security. He is available for print, online and radio interviews.

Thomas Zeitzoff, assistant professor in the School of Public Affairs, can discuss issues related to terrorism, political violence, psychological and electoral consequences of terrorism, why people participate in terrorist groups, and the role of social media in conflict.

Economic Hardship/Taxes
Taryn Morrissey, assistant professor in the School of Public Affairs, is an expert on a variety of public policies for children, particularly those in poverty. Her areas of research include child care, early education, food assistance, and health policy.


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.