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Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies

CCPS Faculty

  1. Patrick Griffin, Adjunct Professorial Lecturer

    Dr. Patrick J. Griffin teaches a graduate seminar on the legislative process and is the academic director of the Public Affairs and Advocacy Institute for CCPS. In addition, he is working on the AU/Pew Charitable Trusts "Improving Campaign Conduct" r… More

    Send email to Patrick Griffin

  2. Candice Nelson, Professor

    SPA - Government

    Candice J. Nelson is a Professor in the Department of Government and the Academic Director of the Campaign Management Institute. She is an expert on presidential and congressional elections, and also studies voting behavior, campaign finance, and cam… More

    Send email to Candice Nelson

    (202) 885-2338

  3. Walter Oleszek, Adjunct Professor

    Walter J. Oleszek is senior specialist in American national government at the Congressional Research Service. In 1993, he served as policy director of the Joint Committee on the Organization of Congress. He is an adjunct professor of political scienc… More

    Send email to Walter Oleszek

  4. James Thurber, Distinguished Professor

    SPA - Government

    James A. Thurber is University Distinguished Professor of Government and Founder (1979) and Founder and Former Director (1979-2016) of the Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies ( and Affiliate Distinguished Profess o… More

    Send email to James Thurber

    (202) 885-6247

  5. Thomas Williams, Adjunct Professorial Lecturer

    Tom Williams served on the staff of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources (and its predecessor the Interior and Insular Affairs Committee) for more than 25 years. When he left the Committee in January of 1999 and retired from federal s… More

    Send email to Thomas Williams


  1. Christine DeGregorio, Associate Professor Emerita

    Professor DeGregorio's research and teaching focuses on Congress, interest groups and political communications. In her recent book, Networks of Champions: Leadership, Access, and Advocacy, she examines the partnerships that form among officeholders, … More

    Send email to Christine DeGregorio

    (202) 885-2343

  2. Chris Edelson, Assistant Professor

    SPA - Government

    Chris Edelson is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Government. His teaching and research interests focus on presidential national security power under the U.S. Constitution. His first book, Emergency Presidential Power: From the Drafting of… More

    Send email to Chris Edelson

    (202) 885-6218

  3. R. Sam Garrett, Adjunct Professorial Lecturer

    SPA - Government

    R. Sam Garrett holds a Ph.D. in political science, M.P.A. and B.A. (summa cum laude), all from American University’s School of Public Affairs. He serves as Specialist in American National Government at the Congressional Research Service, Library of C… More

    Send email to R. Sam Garrett

    (202) 885-3491

  4. Danny Hayes, Faculty Fellow

    SPA - Government

    Danny Hayes is associate professor of political science at George Washington University. He previously held faculty appointments at American University and Syracuse University. He received his Ph.D. in Government in 2006 from the University of Texas … More

    Send email to Danny Hayes

    (202) 885-6263

  5. Jennifer Lawless, Professor

    SPA - Government

    Jennifer L. Lawless graduated from Union College in Schenectady, New York, with a B.A. in political science. She went on to receive an M.A. and Ph.D. in political science from Stanford University. Her research focuses on political ambition, and she i… More

    Send email to Jennifer Lawless

    (202) 885-6452

  6. Jan Leighley, Professor

    SPA - Government

    Jan E. Leighley's research and teaching interests focus on American political behavior, voter turnout, media and politics, and racial/ethnic political behavior. She has published in the American Political Science Review, the American Journal of Polit… More

    Send email to Jan Leighley

    (202) 885-6220

  7. Anita McBride, Executive in Residence

    SPA - School of Public Affairs

    Anita B. McBride is Executive-in-Residence at the Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies in the School of Public Affairs at American University in Washington, DC. She directs programming and national conferences on the legacies of America’… More

    Send email to Anita McBride

    (202) 885-6604

  8. Robert Musil, Faculty Fellow

    Robert K. Musil is the former CEO of the 1985 Nobel Peace Prize-winning Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR). Dr. Musil is a graduate of Yale and holds a Ph.D. from Northwestern University and an M.P.H. in environmental health from the Johns Ho… More

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  9. Elizabeth Suhay, Assistant Professor

    SPA - Government

    Liz Suhay specializes in the study of public opinion, political psychology, and political communication, all within the American context. She regularly teaches Introduction to U.S. Politics, Introduction to Political Research, & Capstone in Political… More

    Send email to Elizabeth Suhay

    (202) 885-6258

  10. Jordan Tama, Assistant Professor

    SIS-School of Intl Service

    Dr. Jordan Tama specializes in the politics, processes, and institutions of U.S. foreign and national security policy making. His research has investigated presidential-congressional relations in foreign policy, foreign policy bipartisanship, sanctio… More

    Send email to Jordan Tama

    (202) 885-2332

Visiting Scholars

George Harris

Dr. George Harris the author of dozens of articles and books on Mid East, Turkish, and U.S relations. His CV can be viewed here. For Dr. Harris' most recent publications, please click here.

Torben Luetjen

Dr. Torben Luetjen was a visiting scholar with CCPS this past year. To read his complete bio, please click here.

CCPS Fellow John Owens

John E. Owens

John E. Owens is Adjunct Research Fellow at the Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies. He is Professor of United States Government and Politics in the Centre for the Study of Democracy at the University of Westminster where he is Director of CSD's Legislative Governance Project. He is also a Fellow of the Royal Society for the Arts.

Alberto Bitonti

Alberto Bitonti, a PhD candidate at the University of Roma Tre, Italy, was a visiting fellow with the Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies (CCPS) from May through July 2009 and is currently a research fellow at the Center. His PhD thesis focuses on the theoretical concept of public interest, as seen in its different historical and philosophical conception, relation to the legitimacy of lobbying, and the role of pressure groups in the democratic process. Please click here for Mr. Bitonti’s CV.

Maik Bohne

Maik Bohne, a PhD candidate at the University of Goettingen, Germany, conducted research at the CCPS from February to September 2007. His PhD thesis focuses on the relevance of party networks (party organizations, political consultants, party-connected interest groups) in the 2006 congressional elections. His qualitative, cross-sectional study would add new perspectives on partisan reality in American elections by reassessing the thesis that US campaigns are predominantly candidate-run.

Robert Matschoss 

Robert Matschoss conducted research on US presidential primaries for his master's thesis at the Universitat Passau in Germany. He is a student of "Sprachen, Wirtschafts-und Kulturraumstudien" (International Business and Cultural Studies) with a focus on Anglo-American culture.

Qingsi Li

Qingsi Li was a visiting fellow with the Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies (CCPS) from August 30, 2004 to August 26, 2005. His research with the Center was on the congressional role in the foreign policy decision-making process. His focus was on the influence of domestic factors over legislators voting behavior toward foreign affairs.

Cristian Vaccari 

Cristian Vaccari was a visiting fellow with the Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies (CCPS) from August 1, 2004 to December 30, 2004. His research with the center focused on campaign strategies, styles, and techniques, in an international perspective and through an interdisciplinary approach that seeks to conjugate insights and methodologies from political science, sociology, and communication science.