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Lobbying and Ethics Laws

James Thurber talked about lobby reform and ethical issues regarding members of Congress.?He spoke about previous efforts to change lobbying practices on Capitol Hill and discussed potential change in the 114th Congress.?James Thurber is the author of numerous books on politics and government and served as a legislative assistant to former senators Bill Brock, Adlai Stevenson III, and Hubert Humphrey.

This forum was part of American University's biannual workshop (PAAI) focusing on lobbying strategies used in the nation's capital.

Watch C-SPAN Coverage

AU President Neil Kerwin Speaks at PAAI

Watch Dr. Kerwin's presentation from the latest session of the Public Affairs and Advocacy Institute.



Professor Thurber after giving speech at the OECD Forum on Financing Democracy and Averting Policy Capture in Paris, December 3-4, 2014 with Janos Bertok (on left) head of Public Sector Integrity Division, Public Governance Directorate, OECD.

Professor Thurber at OECD

View Professor James Thurber's recent presentation at the Organization for Economic Co?operation and Development (OECD), "Political Finance and its Impact on Public Policy and Decision Making Processes…How to Mitigate the Risks of "Capture": The U.S. Case"


CCPS is pleased to announce Gail Baitinger as the recipient of the 2014 Gill Family Foundation Scholarship

Gail's dissertation is titled: If It's Sunday, It's Meet the Men: Examining Gender Differences in Appearances on the Sunday Morning Talk Shows.

Women's under-representation in the news is widely established, but its roots are not yet known. My dissertation is the first to examine systematically whether sexism, journalistic norms, or a combination of the two account for discrepancies in the presence of men and women in the news, the issues discussed by male and female guests, and men and women's ability to set the political agenda. I rely on an original data set of approximately 4,800 Sunday morning show appearances of more than 1,000 individual guests –including elected officials, journalists, administration officials, and activists –as a vehicle by which to assess the roots of women's under-representation in the media and whether gender differences exist in their issue expertise in the news. The quantitative data I collected are from transcripts of all five Sunday morning talk shows and capture every guest who appears on the programs between 2009 and 2011 and the issues they discussed during their appearance. I home in on members of Congress to predict which legislators make the most frequent appearances and the issues they discuss based on characteristics such as sex, seniority, leadership roles, and committee assignments.

Obama Heads to Asia

Prof. Thurber appeared on Sunday's NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt to discuss President Obama's second term and focus on international issues as he begins a three country trip to China, Myanmar, and Australia


 Divided Government

Prof. James Thurber appeared on CSPAN's Washington Journal this week. He talked about how President Obama and a Republican-controlled Congress might operate during the 114th Congress.?He also discussed how previous administrations have worked with opposition party-controlled congresses.


White House Congressional Relations: Strategic Options for the President and the Congress

Were you unable to attend? Watch Now!

Panel included:

Charles Brain, President, Capitol Hill Strategies LLC
Assistant to the President and Director of Legislative Affairs - Clinton Administration: 2000-2001
Deputy Assistant - Clinton Administration: 1998-1999

Nicholas Calio, President and CEO of Airlines for America
Assistant to the President for Legislative Affairs - George W. Bush Administration: 2001-2003 and George H.W. Bush Administration: 1991-1993

Dan Meyer, Partner, Duberstein Group
Deputy Assistant to the President - George W. Bush Administration: 2007
Assistant to the President - George W. Bush Administration: 2007-2008

Phil Schiliro, Policy Consultant

Assistant to the President for Legislative Affairs - Obama Administration: 2009-2011; Obama Biden Transition Team: 2008-2009

Moderated by Patrick Griffin

Associate Director for Public Policy Programs and Academic Director of the Public Affairs and Advocacy Institute at the Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies, Assistant to the President and Director of Legislative Affair - Clinton Administration: 1994-1996

Prof. Thurber Talks about the Midterm Elections


Watch Prof. Thurber’s interview by Sinclair Broadcast TV reporter Kai Jackson

AU Experts Analyze the 2014 Election


Thursday, November 6th at 12PM
Kay Spiritual Life Center

Join CCPS, WPI, and the Kay Spiritual Life Center for an analysis of the 2014 Midterm election results. Discussion will include the following panelists:

  • Anna Greenberg; CCPS Research Fellow and Senior Vice President of Greenberg, Quinlan, Rosner
  • Jennifer Lawless; Professor of Government and Director of the Women & Politics Institute
  • Candice Nelson; Professor and Department Chair of Government and Director of the Campaign Management Institute
  • Molly O'Rourke; Executive in Residence, School of Communications

Panel will be moderated by James A. Thurber, director of the Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies, and distinguished university professor.

Lunch will be served from 12:00-12:20 in the Kay Lounge. Panel will take place in the Kay Chapel at 12:30.

Please RSVP to ccps@american.edu or (202)885-3491

Learn More

Dutch Group

Thurber speaks to Dutch journalists

 Professor Thurber spoke on the 2014 election to a group of journalists from the Netherlands sponsored by the Netherlands Atlantic Association, Bram Boxhoorn, Director on Friday, October 24 at American University.

Photo of World Bank

World Bank headquarters in Washington, DC

Lobbying and Advocacy in the US and the EU


Read Prof. James A Thurber’s presentation from his recent talk at the World Bank


Watchdog Groups Praise Work of OCE, Say Similar Senate Ethics Office Needed

Congressional scholars, including Thomas Mann of the Brookings Institution, Norm Ornstein of the American Enterprise Institute and American University's James Thurber endorse plea to keep the Office of Congressional Ethics.

Read More


Federal Radio FED Talk

James A. Thurber and other guests discuss call for reform of the Congressional ethics process.


Congressional Ethics Panel on C-SPAN

Panelists, including Norm Ornstein and James A. Thurber talked about American voters' perceptions of their lawmakers in Washington and how more stringent ethics standards could improve politicians' standing with their constituents.


There's a reason the President isn't often seen on the campaign trail

Read Jay Newton-Small's latest article for Time, featuring an interview with James A. Thurber

Apply for the 2014 Gill Family Foundation Scholarship

CCPS and The Gill Family Foundation announces a $6,000 scholarship for dissertation support to a PhD student working on a dissertation in the areas of American Politics, Comparative Politics, Public Administration, or Policy Analysis at American University using quantitative methods.

The Gill Family Foundation was established in 1997 in Houston, Texas, to further the Gill family's interest in support of educational philanthropy. As a statement of philosophy, the Gill family has noted that "Education plays the critical role in providing opportunities for growth, development, success, lasting relationships and satisfaction in life. We are committed to giving back to the system which provided us so much opportunity for success and financial independence."

Apply Now


Marguerite Jimenez

Marguerite Jimenez

2014 - 2015 Class of White House Fellows

CCPS congratulates AU School of Public Affair's graduate Marguerite Jiménez, who has been named a White House Fellow.

Learn more about Marguerite and other members of the 2014-2015 Class of White House Fellows.

Pre-Election Panel Discussion

Wednesday, October 15th, 2014 at 5:15PM
Abramson Recital Hall, Katzen Arts Center

Join our experts as they forecast the 2014 races: Who will win? Who will lose? How will female candidates far? And why?

  • Glen Bolger, Public Opinion Strategies
  • Margie Omero, Purple Strategies LLC
  • John Sides, George Washington University and The Monkey Cage

Light refreshments to follow the panel discussion.

Please RSVP by October 8th to Diane Hsiung at dianeh@american.edu or (202)885-2903.

2014 Public Opinion Quarterly (POQ) Special Issue Conference

New Directions in Presidential Election Research
Friday, October 24th, 8:30AM - 5:00PM
Barbara Jordan Conference Center
1330 G St. NW
Washington, DC 20005 (one block from Metro Center)

The Baltimore-Washington Chapter of the American Association for Public Opinion Research (DC-AAPOR) is proud to host the 8th annual POQ Special Issue Conference.  This year's conference highlights New Directions in Presidential-Election Research and features presentations by the volume's contributing authors. Topics include new methods for estimating election outcomes, the role of racial attitudes and party identification in recent elections, real-time assessments of public opinion, and more. Please join us! 

Learn more here.

White House

Former CMI Assistant Director Speaks at the White House

Former Campaign Management Institute Assistant Director Andy MacCracken, Executive Director & Cofounder of the National Campus Leadership Council, will address the issue of campus sexual assault at the White House. Watch Live


The Diane Rehm Show- Challenges Facing the Obama Administration


Listen to Prof. Thurber on The Diane Rehm Show discussing challenges facing the Obama Administration

EPAAI 2014

The 2014 European Public Affairs and Advocacy Institute at the European Commission


Discover the European Public Affairs and Advocacy Institute (EPAAI), including details on our next session.

Learn More

Amanda Shipley

2014 Bryce Harlow Foundation Ethics and Lobbying Essay Winner

The Center congratulates Amanda Shipley, winner of the 2014 Bryce Harlow Foundation Ethics and Lobbying Essay Winner.

Amanda Shipley is the Communications Coordinator at Hellerman Baretz Communications, an award-winning corporate communications agency specializing in thought leadership and branded content development, reputation management, and revenue growth for the world's leading law, consulting, healthcare, and financial services firms.

Born and raised in northern Ohio, Amanda attended Wittenberg University where she graduated summa cum laude with a degree in Political Science and a minor in Economics. She is a member of the Phi Beta Kappa and Pi Sigma Alpha national honors societies, American Political Science Association, and the Legal Marketing Association.

While working from HBC’s Washington office, Amanda completed a Masters in Political Science at American University.

Read Amanda’s award winning paper and past winners

Council on Governmental Ethics Laws

Read Wesley Bizzells’s profile of Prof. James A. Thurber in COGEL’s latest edition of The Guardian newsletter


 USA Today Interviews


Prof. James A. Thurber was recently interviewed by USA today regarding President Obama’s poll numbers and his plans for intervention in Iraq.  


Obama's focus turns to narrower achievements

Read Prof. Thurber's comments in Kathleen Hennessey and Christi Parsons' piece in the Los Angeles Times.

American Gridlock

Conference on Gridlock

On May 9, CCPS will host a full day conference on "American Gridlock: Causes, Characteristics, and Consequences of Polarization" at American University, featuring academics from across the nation.

Full Program

Panelists Bios


YouTube Conference Playlist










Hayes and Lawless




Rigby and Wright



Seth Masket's article

Gary Jacobson's paper

Thomas E. Mann's Keynote

For more information, contact ccps@american.edu.

American and EU Flag

Conference on Lobbying Reform in the U.S. and E.U.

On March 17, 2014 the Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies hosted an all-day conference on lobbying reform in the U.S. and E.U.

Learn about the panelists


Robert Bauer | Janos Bertok | David Coen | Lee Drutman | Craig Holman | Karl Isaksson | Timothy LaPira | James A. Thurber

Read Holly Yeager's Washington Post Article

Read Neil Vigdor's piece in The Stamford Advocate

Read Prof. LaPira's recent Sunlight Foundation blog post

SOC NPR logo

Professor James A. Thurber on NPR

Professor Thurber was recently interviewed by NPR’s Scott Horsely on the presidential budget


Professor Thurber also appeared on Ken Rudin’s “Political Junkie” to discuss Rep. John Dingell’s retirement from the House.




The Republicans’ Latino Problem and How it Can Be Fixed

Join the Center for Latin American and Latino Studies and the Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies for a morning conference tackling this timely and important issue, illuminating the challenges the Republican Party faces with trying to obtain the Latino vote and improve their relationship with Latino voters.

March 7 from 10am-1:00pm

Location: SIS Abramson Family Founders Room

Learn More

Unable to attend? Read about it Bloomberg or watch it on C-SPAN.

Obama 2014

Pete Souza/The White House

Obama's icy relationship with Congress: Can it ever thaw?

Listen Professor James Thurber comment in this report by The Christian Science Monitor’s Francine Kiefer.



Lobbying Graphic

The Nation

Where Have All the Lobbyists Gone?

Prof. James Thurber share his knowledge of the lobbying industry in this article featured in The Nation.

Learn More

TGS book cover

Celebrating Women's History Month

Join WPI and CCPS as we discuss partisanship and polarization in the U.S. Congress and whether more women can help solve these problems. Sean Theriault will sign copies of his new book, The Gingrich Senators: The Roots of Partisan Warfare in Congress. Panel discussion with former Congresswomen Barbara Kennelly and Nancy Johnson will follow.

Date and Time:

Thursday, March 27th
Book Signing at 11:15 AM
Lunch and Panel Discussion at 12 PM


SIS Founders Room
American University
4400 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20016

European Public Affairs and Advocacy Institute- Brussels, Belgium June 22-June 27, 2014

Interested in attending this year’s EPAAI? Join us for an information and Q and A session on any of the following dates:

Monday February 24th from 5pm- 5:30
Thursday March 6th from 5pm- 5:30
Tuesday March 18th from 5pm- 5:30

All information sessions will take place in the CCPS office, Ward 109.

Learn More about EPAAI

Intern while at EPAAI

Applications for paid internships with the European Parliament Liaison Office with US Congress are due February 6th!

Contact Jean-Luc Robert, European Parliament Liaison Office with US Congress, for more information: jean-luc.robert@europarl.europa.eu

Learn More

Dee Dee Myers with CCPS Students

Dee Dee Myers Visits CCPS Institutes

Former Whitehouse Press Secretary Dee Dee Myers spoke to students of the Campaign Management Institute and Public Affairs and Advocacy Institute in January. 

Learn More


Andrew Brannegan

2013 Gill Family Foundation Scholarship

CCPS is pleased to announce Andrew Brannegan as the recipient of the 2013 Gill Family Foundation Scholarship.

Andrew’s dissertation is titled: "Understanding Parental Involvement and its Influence on Student Outcomes in the Context of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001."

The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 emphasized the need for greater parental participation in the education process by expanding public school choice and by requiring parental involvement in Title I school activities. This research will examine the implications of increasing parental involvement in schools, by analyzing: (1) how each parent’s level of education influences the likelihood of being aware of and participating in public school choice; (2) how different types of parental involvement and school outreach influence student test scores and behavioral outcomes; and (3) how changes in household dynamics influence a parent’s likelihood of participating in school activities. These questions are answered using a variety of quantitative methods and using data from the National Household Education Survey of 2007 and the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study-Kindergarten Class of 1998-1999.

Learn More

2013 Hatfield Scholar Award Presented to Professor James A. Thurber

Professor James A. Thurber is the recipient of the 2013 Hatfield Scholar Award. The award is given by Portland State University faculty in recognition of an exceptional scholar whose career best exemplifies the Hatfield commitment to public interest and public service.

Learn More

The JFK Assassination Anniversary: Public Perceptions And Political Realities- The Diane Rehm Show

Listen to panelists James Thurber, Robert Dallek; presidential historian, Larry Sabato; founder and director, University of Virginia Center for Politics, and Bill Minutaglio; professor of journalism at the University of Texas, Austin discuss the JFK assassination on the eve of the 50th anniversary.

Listen to the Diane Rehm Show

Remembering Richard Smolka

Richard G. Smolka, a professor emeritus at American University and one of the world’s leading experts on elections, voting and the electoral process, died at his home in Mesa, Arizona, on Nov. 5. He was 81.

A native of Cleveland, Ohio, Smolka taught in the School of Public Affairs at American for 31 years before his retirement. He created Election Administration Reports, a bi-weekly newsletter on election law and administration for election officials, in 1971 and served as its editor for more than 40 years. It became an industry standard and developed a worldwide readership among those in the business of running elections.

Learn More

Senior Fellow Bob Musil featured in the Huffington Post

Read Dr. Musil’s column and learn about his new book, Rachel Carson and Her Sisters: Extraordinary Women Who Have Shaped America's Environment.


Day-After Analysis of State Election Results

Listen to James A. Thurber

discuss election results on WAMU’s The Diane Rehm Show. Other guests include:

Ed O'Keefe ; Congressional reporter, The Washington Post.

John Harwood; Chief Washington correspondent, CNBC; reporter, The New York Times.

Liz Sidoti; National political editor, AP.


Photo of the Washington Monument and the Washington, DC skyline at night.

Photo by Jeff Watts

The Impact of the Government Shutdown and Sequestration on the Poor

Miss our event? Watch the video!

CCPS Forum featuring:

Marge Clark
Chief lobbyist for Network: A National Catholic Social Justice Lobby (Nuns on the Bus)

Amelia Kegan
Senior Policy Analyst, Bread for the World

Scott Lilly
Senior Fellow, Center for American Progress

Moderated by Professor James A. Thurber; University Distinguished Professor of Government and Founder and Director of the Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies.

CCPS Forum- October 3rd- What’s Wrong With Congress And What Can Be Done About It?


Norm Ornstein- Resident Scholar, American Enterprise Institute

Thomas E. Mann- Senior Fellow, The Brookings Institution

Moderated by Professor James A. Thurber, Director, Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies and Distinguished University Professor.

 Watch the Forum   


Here’s Something Congress Can Agree On: Helium

Listen to James A. Thurber interviewed on NPR about the government shutdown.


The Shifting Suburbs: Changes in the Nation’s Political Fulcrum

Watch C-SPAN coverage of this joint CCPS-WIPAR conference.

Professor James Thurber on NPR

Listen to Prof. Thurber’s comments on Syria in an interview with NPR’s David Welna

CCPS Fellow Walter Oleszek honored by the National Capital Area Political Science Association

Congratulations to CCPS Fellow Walter Oleszek, the 2013 recipient of the Walter Beach Pi Sigma Alpha Award.

Learn more about Prof. Walter Oleszek

Read this recent Roll Call article about Walter

CBS Sunday Morning- Behind the Closed Doors of Washington Lobbyists

Watch James Thurber discuss lobbying on CBS Sunday Morning.


Partisan Rancor In The Senate And The Future Of The Filibuster- The Diane Rehm Show

Listen to James A. Thurber discuss the politics of Senate rule changes on WAMU’s The Diane Rehm Show.

NASAA Insight

Read the latest NASAA Insight newsletter, featuring comments from James A. Thurber.

Students invited to lecture at the European Commission

This year’s European Public Affairs and Advocacy Institute class was invited to a recent meeting of the European Commission.

Watch the video

2013 Bryce Harlow Foundation Ethics and Lobbying Essay Winner

The Center congratulates Lindsey Mears, winner of the 2013 Bryce Harlow Foundation Ethics and Lobbying Essay Winner.

Lindsey Mears is a recent graduate of the MA program in Political Communication at American University. She took part in the Ethics in Lobbying Workshop to enhance her understanding of both the perception and legislation of lobbying activity. Lindsey works at an advocacy nonprofit and hopes to continue working in issue advocacy.
Read Lindsey’s award winning paper and past winners.

Politics of Climate Change

Miss our June event? Watch the video.

CCPS Forum: The Politics of Climate Change

June 19th
The Knight Studio
3rd Floor, The Newseum



Commemorations Dot 2013 Calendar

Read Prof. Thurber’s comments in a recent USA Today article about upcoming JFK commemorations.

Professor Thurber to Address CED’s Spring Policy Conference

Professor Thurber is participating in the Committee for Economic Development’s Spring Policy Conference in Washington.

Learn More

President Barack Obama

Has President Obama Changed the Way Washington Works?

Read Prof. Thurber’s article on Blackpast.org, an online reference guide to African American history compiled by Prof. Quintard Taylor of the University of Washington, Seattle

Photo of the Washington Monument and the Washington, DC skyline at night.

Photo by Jeff Watts

President Obama’s Lobbyist Problem

Read Professor Thurber’s blog post for The Bryce Harlow Foundation.


Learn more about the Foundation

More News from Patchwork Nation

Read the latest news from CCPS Fellow and Patchwork Nation’s Dante Chinni, including his most recent article in the Wall Street Journal.


Immigration in Border States

The GOP's Gay Marraige Challenge

The Missing Privacy Constituency

GOP Immigration Dilemma

Unequal Justice: the Relentless Rise of the 1% Court

Miss our April 8th event? Watch the film

Campaign Management Institute Assistant Director Andy MacCracken on C-SPAN

Andy MacCracken appeared on C-SPAN’s Washington Journal to discuss his organization’s efforts to engage young voters on a national level about a variety of issues including the national debt, fiscal responsibility, college affordability and youth voter turnout.?


Eva-Marie Kiefer joins CCPS as a Scholar in Residence

Ms. Kiefer is a PhD student at the Heidelberg Center for American Studies in Germany. Her dissertation examines the mechanisms explaining Congressional behavior during crisis in conflicts with non-state actors.

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Jeffrey Crouch, assistant professor of American politics

Jeffrey Crouch, assistant professor of American politics

Recent News CCPS Fellow Jeffrey Crouch

Preossor Crouch was featured in the New York Times Sunday Dialogue: Using the Power to Pardon.

Prof.Jeffrey Crouch, author of The Presidential Pardon Power (University Press of Kansas, 2009), was one of two political scientists invited to join a dozen legal scholars and practitioners at St. Thomas School of Law's spring symposium, "Sentence Commutations and the Executive Pardon Power." Crouch presented a paper entitled "The President's Power to Commute: Is It Still Relevant?" The symposium was held on April 20, 2012 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Former Maryland governor Robert Ehrlich delivered the keynote address. Here is a link: http://ir.stthomas.edu/ustlj/symposia.html

Crouch was also invited to speak at Clemson University, where he gave a talk on April 27, 2012 entitled "The Presidential Pardon Power: The Basics." His recently published work includes a chapter, "William Jefferson Clinton," in Chronology of the American Presidency, edited by Matthew Manweller, and a chapter entitled "Redistricting: The Shift Towards South and West Continues" in Campaigns on the Cutting Edge, 2nd Ed., edited by AU's own Richard J. Semiatin.

Watch Professor Crouch’s latest CPAN interview and read his comments in the New York Times.

Read Professor Crouch's latest interview in the Boston Globe.

Learn more about Jeffrey Crouch

SOC Washington Post logo

Crouch quoted on Obama pardons

Read Professor Jeffrey Crouch’s comments on President Obama’s recent pardons in The Washington Post.

Read article

5 Things to Watch for in State of the Union Speech

Several AU faculty, including CCPS Director James Thurber, discuss areas that President Obama should be focusing on in his 2013 State of the Union address.

Experts Surveyed on Congress’ Performance Give The Institution a “C” for 2012

Read the latest from the Center on Congress at Indiana University.

OVERDRAFT: Exploring America’s Debt Crisis

Missed our event in February? Watch the film.

Congress: The Causes and Consequences of Partisanship Deadlock

Read the latest book chapter from the Center on Congressional deadlock

Jaiqi Liang and Jeff Gill

Gill Family Foundation Scholarship Winner 2012

The Gill Family Foundation Scholarship Committee is pleased to announce its December 2012 winner: Jiaqi Liang.

Jiaqi Liang is a Ph.D. candidate in Department of Public Administration & Policy. Her research interests include administrative politics, policy implementation, program evaluation, environmental policy and politics, performance management, diversity and representation, comparative public administration and policy. Her dissertation theoretically conceptualizes race/ethnicity-based environmental injustice in the framework of social construction of target populations, and empirically examines its impact on the bureaucratic distribution of environmental benefits and burdens by enforcing environmental programs inequitably. Prior to the doctoral program at AU, Liang received a MPA with a concentration in public policy at University of Missouri-Columbia. Her dissertation is titled: Unmasking Covert Injustice: Minorities, Social Constructionism, and Environmental Enforcement in the United States.

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Photo: new WAMU logo

Compromise in Congress to Avert the Fiscal Cliff- The Diane Rehm Show

Listen to James A. Thurber as he joins guests Norm Ornstein and Alice Rivlin to discuss the state of Congress and compromise.