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Jennifer Lawless

Professor
Department of Government

  • Additional Positions at AU

    Director, Women & Politics Institute, School of Public Affairs
    Faculty Affiliate, Center for Congressional & Presidential Studies, School of Public Affairs
  • 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. A nationally recognized expert on women's involvement in politics, she is the author of Becoming a Candidate: Political Ambition and the Decision to Run for Office and the co-author (with Richard L. Fox) of the book, It Still Takes a Candidate: Why Women Don't Run for Office. Her research, which has been supported by the National Science Foundation, has appeared in numerous academic journals. She has also issued several policy reports on the barriers that impede women’s candidate emergence

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  • Degrees

    Ph.D., Political Science, Stanford M.A. Political Science, Stanford B.A. Political Science, Union College
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Teaching

  • Fall 2014

    • GOVT-485 Topics in Women and Politics: Women, Politics & Philanthropy
    • Description
    • GOVT-485 Topics in Women and Politics: Women and the 2014 Elections
    • Description

Scholarly, Creative & Professional Activities

Professional Presentations

CONFERENCE PRESENTATIONS

  • 2014. News as a Casualty: District Polarization and Media Coverage of U.S. House Campaigns, paper presented at the American Gridlock: Causes, Characteristics, and Consequences of Polarization Conference, Washington, DC: May 9.  
  • 2014. Present or Absent? (Re-)Evaluating the Role of Gender Stereotyping in Contemporary Campaigns and Elections, roundtable participant at the annual meeting of the Midwest Political Science Association, Chicago: April 3 – 6.  
  • 2014. How Uncompetitive Elections and Media Consolidation Impoverish the News and Diminish Democracy, paper presented at the annual meeting of the Midwest Political Science Association, Chicago: April 3 – 6.  
  • 2014. Uncovering the Origins of the Gender Gap in Political Ambition, paper presented at the annual meeting of the Midwest Political Science Association, Chicago: April 3 – 6.  
  • 2014. A Non-Gendered Lens: The Absence of Gender Stereotyping in Contemporary Congressional Elections, paper presented at the winter meeting of the National Capital Area Political Science Association’s American Politics Workshop, Washington, DC: January 7.  
  • 2013. Understanding the Origins of the Gender Gap in Political Ambition, paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Political Science Association, Chicago: August 29 – September 1.  
  • 2013. A Non-Gendered Lens: The Absence of Gender Stereotyping in Contemporary Congressional Elections, paper presented at the annual meeting of the Midwest Political Science Association, Chicago: April 11 – 14.  
  • 2013. Girls Just Wanna Not Run: The Gender Gap in Young Americans’ Political Ambition, paper presented at the annual meeting of the Midwest Political Science Association, Chicago: April 11 – 14.  
  • 2013. A Non-Gendered Lens: The Absence of Gender Stereotyping in Contemporary Congressional Elections, paper presented at the annual meeting of the Southern Political Science Association, Orlando: January 3 – 6.  
  • 2012. Reconciling Family Roles with Political Ambition: The New Normal for Women in 21st Century Politics, paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Political Science Association, New Orleans: August 30 – September 2. (Conference Canceled.)  
  • 2012. Is there Fire in the Belly? Gender, Competitive Traits, and Political Ambition, paper presented at the annual meeting of the Midwest Political Science Association, Chicago: April 12 – 15.  
  • 2012. Women Politicians and the News: A Discussion of New Research, roundtable participant at the annual meeting of the Western Political Science Association, Portland: March 22 – 25.  
  • 2011. Lawless, Jennifer L. and Richard L. Fox. Barefoot and Pregnant, or Ready to Be President: Gender, Family Roles, and Political Ambition in the 21st Century, paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Political Science Association: Seattle: September 1 – 4.  
  • 2011. Lawless, Jennifer L. and Richard L. Fox. Barefoot and Pregnant, or Ready to Be President: Gender, Family Roles and Political Ambition in the 21st Century, paper presented at the DC-Area American Politics Workshop, Washington, DC: June 21.  
  • 2011. The Intersection of Traditional Family Roles and Political Ambition: A Re-Evaluation, paper presented at the annual meeting of the Midwest Political Science Association: Chicago: March 31 – April 2.  
  • 2010. Gendered Perceptions and Political Candidacies: A Central Barrier to Women’s Equality in Electoral Politics, paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Political Science Association, Washington, DC: September 1 – 4.  
  • 2010. Envisioning a Candidacy: Gender and Self-Efficacy to Run for Office, paper presented at the annual meeting of the Midwest Political Science Association, Chicago: April 17 – 20.  
  • 2010. Twitter and Facebook: New Ways to Send the Same Message, paper presented at the Media 2.0 Conference, Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles, CA: March 8 – 9.  
  • 2009. The Qualifications Gap: Explaining Women’s Lower Levels of Political Ambition, paper presented at the annual meeting of the Midwest Political Science Association, Chicago: April 4 – 6.  
  • 2008. If Only They’d Ask: Gender, Recruitment, and Political Ambition, paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Political Science Association, Boston, September 1 – 3.  
  • 2008. The Evolution of Political Ambition, Roundtable on the Citizen Political Ambition Study Wave II, annual meeting of the Midwest Political Science Association, Chicago, April 7 – 9.  
  • 2008. The Persistent Gender Gap in Political Ambition, paper presented at the annual meeting of the Western Political Science Association, San Diego, March 20 – 22.  
  • 2008. Congressional Primaries and Party Polarization, paper presented at the annual meeting of the Southern Political Science Association, New Orleans: January 10 – 12.  
  • 2007. Congressional Primaries and Party Polarization in the U.S. House of Representatives, 1992 – 2006, paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Political Science Association, Chicago, August 29 – September 1.  
  • 2007. The Primary Aspect of the Problem: Congressional Primaries and Women’s Under-Representation, paper presented at the annual meeting of the Midwest Political Science Association, Chicago, April 14 – 17.  
  • 2006. Gender, Congressional Primaries, and Women’s Under-Representation, paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Political Science Association, Philadelphia, September 1 – 4.  
  • 2006. The Primary Reason for Women’s Under-Representation: Gender and Congressional Elections, paper presented at the annual meeting of the Midwest Political Science Association, Chicago, April 18 – 20.  
  • 2005. Race and Political Ambition, paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Political Science Association, Washington, DC, September 1 – 4.  
  • 2005. Race and the Initial Decision to Run for Office: Racial Dynamics and Differences in Candidate Emergence, paper presented at the annual meeting of the Midwest Political Science Association, Chicago, April 7 – 10.  
  • 2004. The Formation of Ideological Self-Designation: Political Sophistication and Policy Preferences of Ordinary Citizens, paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Political Science Association, Chicago, September 2 – 5.  
  • 2004. Nascent Ambition and the Decision Dynamics of Running for Office, paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Political Science Association, Chicago, September 2 – 5.  
  • 2004. Women, War, and Winning Elections: Gender Stereotyping in the Post-September 11th Era, paper presented at the annual meeting of the Midwest Political Science Association, Chicago, April 15 – 18.  
  • 2004. The Initial Run for Office: Decision Dynamics of Entering Electoral Politics, paper presented at the annual meeting of the Midwest Political Science Association, Chicago, April 15 – 18.  
  • 2004. Anything She Can Do, He Can Do Better? Gender Stereotyping in the Post September 11th Era, paper presented at the annual meeting of the Southern Political Science Association, New Orleans, January 8 – 10.  
  • 2003. Political Ideology in the United States: Conservatism and Liberalism in the 1980s and 1990s, paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Political Science Association, Philadelphia, August 28 – September 1.  
  • 2003. The Gender Gap in Candidate Emergence: Sex Differences in Political Ambition, paper presented at the annual meeting of the Midwest Political Science Association, Chicago, April 3 – 6.  
  • 2003. Will She Stay or Will She Go?  Women’s Retirement from the U.S. Congress, paper presented at the annual meeting of the Midwest Political Science Association, Chicago, April 3 – 6.  
  • 2002. The Impact of Sex Role Socialization on the Decision to Run for Office, paper to be presented at the annual meeting of the Southern Political Science Association, Savannah, November 7 – 9.  
  • 2002. Entering the Arena: Gender and the Initial Decision to Run for Office, paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Political Science Association, Boston, August 29 – September 2.  
  • 2002. Political Ideology in the United States: Conservatism and Liberalism in the 1980s and 1990s, paper presented at the Conference on Conservatism, Augsburg, May 10 – 11.  
  • 2002. Politics of Presence: Women in the House and Symbolic Representation, paper presented at the annual meeting of the Midwest Political Science Association, Chicago, April 24 – 26.  
  • 2001. Women’s Presence in the House: Constituent Level Benefits of Symbolic Representation, paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Political Science Association, San Francisco, August 29 – September 2.  
  • 2001. Gender and the Decision to Run for Office: A Pilot Study in New York, paper presented at the annual meeting of the Western Political Science Association, Las Vegas, March 15 – 17.  
  • 2000. Political Participation Among the Urban Poor, paper presented at the annual meeting of the Western Political Science Association, San Jose, March 24 – 26.  
  • 1997. What is Political?  Kenyan Conceptions of Political Thought, Interest, Government Problems and Priorities, paper presented at the annual meeting of the New York State Political Science Association, New York, April 18 – 20.  

INVITED LECTURES AND PRESENTATIONS

Invited Lectures (Academic):

  • University of Iowa (Political Science Department and School of Public Policy), “The Gender Gap in Political Ambition, or Why Women and Girls Just Wanna Not Run,” April 18, 2014.  
  • Brigham Young University (Department of Political Science), Provo, UT, “Uncovering the Origins of the Gender Gap in Political Ambition,” February 6, 2014.  
  • Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, “Uncovering the Origins of the Gender Gap in Political Ambition,” November 14, 2013.  
  • Duke University (Department of Political Science), Durham, NC, “Uncovering the Origins of the Gender Gap in Political Ambition,” October 30, 2013.  
  • University of Maryland (Department of Political Science), College Park, MD, “A Non-Gendered Lens: The Absence of Stereotyping in Contemporary Congressional Elections,” April 26, 2013.  
  • University of Texas (Department of Government), Austin, TX, “A Non-Gendered Lens: The Absence of Stereotyping in Contemporary Congressional Elections,” February 21, 2013.  
  • Colorado College, Colorado Springs, CO, “Presidential Symposium Keynote Address: Why Women Don’t Run for Office and What Happens When They Do,” December 10, 2012.  
  • University of Minnesota (Department of Government), Minneapolis, MN, “A Non-Gendered Lens: The Absence of Stereotyping in Contemporary Congressional Elections,” September 11, 2012.  
  • University of Minnesota (Humphrey School of Public Policy), Minneapolis, MN, “Is 2012 a Year of the Woman?” September 11, 2012.  
  • Brown University, Providence, RI, “It Still Takes A Candidate: Why Women Don’t Run for Office,” October 31, 2011.  
  • Georgetown University, Washington, DC, “Cracking the Ceiling: A Conversation with Anne Kornblut and Jennifer Lawless,” March 21, 2011.  
  • Carleton University, Ottawa, Ontario, “It Still Takes A Candidate: Why Women Don’t Run for Office and What Happens When They Do,” March 10, 2011  
  • Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN, “Women and the 2010 Congressional Elections,” October 15, 2010.  
  • Susan B. Anthony Center for Women’s Leadership, University of Rochester, “Women and the 2008 Presidential and Congressional Elections,” October 29, 2008.  
  • Harvard University, Department of Government, Cambridge, MA, “The Gender Gap in Political Recruitment,” January 29, 2010.  
  • Georgetown University, Department of Political Science, Washington, DC, “If Only They’d Ask: Gender, Recruitment, and Political Ambition,” October 2, 2009.  
  • University of Virginia, Department of Political Science, Charlottesville, VA, “If Only They’d Ask: Gender and Political Recruitment,” May 1, 2009.  
  • Kennedy School of Government, Cambridge, MA, “Why Women Don’t Run for Office, Why They Must, and What Happens When They Do,” March 19, 2009.  
  • American University, Department of Political Science, Washington, DC, “If Only They’d Ask: Gender, Recruitment, and Political Ambition,” March 3, 2009.  
  • Stanford University, Department of Political Science, Stanford, CA, “If Only They’d Ask: Gender and Political Recruitment,” January 28, 2009.  
  • Susan B. Anthony Center for Women’s Leadership, University of Rochester, “Women and the 2008 Presidential and Congressional Elections,” October 29, 2008.  
  • University of Maryland –School of Law, Baltimore, MD, “Women, Representation, and Political Ambition,” October 24, 2008.  
  • Connecticut College, Department of Women’s Studies, New London, CT, “Women, Elections, and Ambition: Why Women Don’t Run for Office,” October 30, 2007.  
  • University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill, Department of Political Science, “The Evolution of Political Ambition,” October 26, 2007.  
  • Union College, Department of Political Science, “It Takes a Candidate: Why Women Should Run for Office and What Happens when They Do,” January 29, 2007.  
  • Providence College, Department of Political Science, “Gender and Congressional Elections: Ambition and Representation,” November 13, 2006.  
  • State University of New York – Geneseo, Department of Political Science, “Women, Elections, and Representation,” November 2, 2006.  
  • Barnard College, Department of Political Science, “It Takes a Candidate: Why Women Should Run for Office and What Happens when They Do,” October 26, 2006.  
  • Roger Williams University, Department of Political Science, “It Takes a Candidate: Why Women Should Run for Office and What Happens when They Do,” October 24, 2006.  
  • University of Oklahoma, Carl Albert Center for Congressional Politics, “Women, Representation, and the 2006 Elections,” October 18, 2006.  
  • University of California, Berkeley, Department of Inter-Governmental Studies, “Gender, Congressional Primaries, and Representation,” June 8, 2006.  
  • Harvard University, Department of Government, “It Takes a Candidate: Why Women Don’t Run for Office,” December 9, 2005.  
  • Siena College’s First Women President Symposium, “Dim Prospects for a Woman in the White House: Gender Stereotyping in the Post-September 11th Era,” March 5, 2005.  
  • Harvard University, Department of Government, “Nascent Political Ambition: Studying the Initial Decision to Run for Office,” November 18, 2004.  
  • Susan B. Anthony Center for Women’s Leadership, University of Rochester, “Why Women Don’t Run for Office,” October 8, 2004.  

Invited Lectures (Political Analysis and Commentary):      

  • Women’s Political Committee, Los Angeles, CA, “Why Women Don’t Run for Office and How to Close the Ambition Gap,” March 12, 2014.  
  • New York Women’s Foundation / CitiFoundation, “Men Rule: The Under-Representation of Women in U.S. Politics,” March 5, 2014.  
  • Women Impacting Public Policy, Washington, DC, “Women, Leadership, and Advocacy: Run for Office!” October 10, 2013.  
  • Emerge America – Webinar, “Girls Just Wanna Not Run,” July 24, 2013.  
  • Phi Sigma Sigma, New York, NY, “Miss Representation: Women and Leadership,” July 12, 2013.  
  • Women’s Fund of Western Massachusetts, Holyoke, MA, “Women and Politics: Run for Office!” May 22, 2013.  
  • Brearley School, New York, NY, “Miss Representation: Why Women Don’t Run for Office and What Happens When They Do,” May 3, 2013.  
  • Georgetown Visitation Preparatory School, Washington, DC, “Miss Representation: Why Women Don’t Run for Office and What Happens When They Do,” April 24, 2013.  
  • Arnold and Porter LLP, Washington, DC, “The Gender Gap in Political Ambition and How We Can Close It,” April 8, 2013.  
  • One Day University, Philadelphia, PA, “Why Public Opinion Polls are So Often Wrong,” March 23, 2013.  
  • Ignite, Dallas, TX, “Why Young Women Don’t Want to Run for Office: The Gender Gap in Young Americans’ Political Ambition,” February 23, 2013.  
  • Eisenhower Institute at Gettysburg College, Gettysburg, PA, “Women, Politics, and the Gender Gap in Ambition,” February 10, 2013.  
  • U.S. Embassy in Ireland, via Skype (U.S. State Department), “Women, Elections, and Political Ambition,” January 30, 2013.  
  • Carleton University, Ottawa, Ontario, “Recapping the 2012 Presidential Election,” November 14, 2012.  
  • U.S. Embassy in Canada (U.S. State Department), “The 2012 Elections: Expectations and Surprises,” November 14, 2012.  
  • Fox Hill Senior Center, Bethesda, MD, “Polling Pitfalls: Why We Should Be Suspect of Everything We See in the News,” October 23, 2012.  
  • WAND – Webinar, “Men Rule: The Continued Under-Representation of Women in Politics,” October 11, 2012.  
  • U.S. State Department – World Learning Program, Washington, DC, “Women and U.S. Politics: From Voters to Candidates to Elected Officials,” September 17, 2012.  
  • Scholars Strategy Network, Minneapolis, MN, “Is 2012 a Year of the Woman?” September 10, 2012.  
  • National Archives, Washington, DC, “Beyond the Vote: Post-Suffrage Strategies to Gain Access to Power,” August 23, 2012.  
  • U.S. Department of State (Foreign Service Institute), Washington, DC, “Election 2012: What to Expect,” August 9, 2012.  
  • Women in Government Relations, Washington, DC, “Women, Politics, and the Glass Ceiling,” July 18, 2012.  
  • National Council for Research on Women, Washington, DC, “Women’s Paths to Politics,” June 21, 2012.  
  • U.S. Department of State (Foreign Service Institute), Washington, DC, “Women and the 2012 Elections,” June 15, 2012.  
  • Leading Ladies, DC, Washington, DC, “Women and Politics: Why Don’t They Run,” May 5, 2012.  
  • U.S. Department of State (Foreign Service Institute), Washington, DC, “Women and the 2012 Elections,” May 1, 2012.  
  • The Farm Team, Arlington, VA, “Men Rule: The Continued Under-Representation of Women in U.S. Politics,” April 19, 2012.  
  • Sewell Belmont House, Washington, DC, “Breaking Barriers to the Glass Ceiling,” April 17, 2012.  
  • Eisenhower Institute at Gettysburg College, Gettysburg, PA, “Women, Politics, and the 2012 Elections,” March 31, 2012.  
  • Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC, “Miss Representation: Why Women Don’t Run for Office and What Happens When They Do,” March 21, 2012.  
  • National Cathedral School, Washington, DC, “Miss Representation: Why Women Don’t Run for Office and What Happens When They Do,” March 9, 2012.  
  • U.S. State Department – World Learning Program, Washington, DC, “Women and U.S. Politics: From Voters to Candidates to Elected Officials,” March 5, 2012.  
  • Greenwich Academy, Greenwich, CT, “Why Women Don’t Run for Office and What Happens When They Do,” February 28, 2012.  
  • Emerge America – Webinar, “A Conversation with Jennifer Lawless,” February 22, 2012.  
  • Georgetown Senior Citizen Center, “Election 2012,” January 25, 2012.  
  • Women of Influence, Inc., Toronto, Canada, “Women’s Under-Representation and the Importance of their Voices,” December 2, 2011.  
  • Eisenhower Institute, Washington, DC, “Women and the 2012 Elections,” November 13, 2011.  
  • U.S. Department of State (Foreign Service Institute), “Women and the 2012 Elections,” November 10, 2011.  
  • FOCUS Conference for Penn Women, University of Pennsylvania Medical School, “Women, Campaigns, and Elections,” October 21, 2011.  
  • Women Impacting Public Policy, Washington, DC, “It Still Takes A Candidate: Why Women Don’t Run for Office and What Happens When They Do,” October 13, 2011.  
  • Women in Medicine Program, University of Indiana School of Medicine, “The Graceful Art of Self-Promotion: Women in Politics,” October 12, 2011.  
  • Sewell-Belmont House, Washington, DC, “A Woman’s Perspective: Women in American Democracy,” October 5, 2011.  
  • Women’s Leadership Council, Los Angeles, CA, “If Only They’d Ask: Why Women Don’t Run for Office and What Happens When They Do,” September 22, 2011.  
  • Emerge Maine, Waterville, ME, “Why Women Must Run for Office,” August 11, 2011.  
  • Emerge Maine Alumnae Network, Waterville, ME, “Women Candidates in 2010 and 2012,” August 11, 2011.  
  • Carrie Chapman Catt Center, Ames, IA, “It Still Takes A Candidate: Why Women Don’t Run for Office and What Happens When They Do,” June 10, 2011.  
  • Sue Shear Institute for Women in Public Life, St. Louis, MO, “It Still Takes A Candidate: Why Women Don’t Run for Office and What Happens When They Do,” May 26, 2011.  
  • Emerge America, San Francisco, CA, “Why Women Must Run for Office,” May 24, 2011.  
  • Union College Semester in Washington, Washington, DC, “Women, Politics, and Representation,” May 1, 2011.  
  • Feminist Majority Foundation’s Women, Money, Power Summit, Washington, DC, “Electing Women to State Legislatures and the U.S. Congress,” April 8, 2011.  
  • Equal Voices, Ottawa, Ontario, “It Still Takes A Candidate: Why Women Don’t Run for Office and What Happens When They Do,” March 11, 2011.  
  • U.S. Embassy in Canada (U.S. State Department), “Women, Representation, and Political Ambition,” March 10, 2011.  
  • Eisenhower Institute, Washington, DC, “Women, Politics, and Representation,” February 27, 2011.  
  • Deloitte, Arlington, VA, “Women and Leadership in Corporate America,” February 22, 2011.  
  • Running Start, Washington, DC, “Women, Ambition, and Representation,” February 11, 2010.  
  • WREI Fellowship Program, Washington, DC, “Women, Ambition, and Representation,” January 24, 2011.  
  • Wednesday Morning Group, Bethesda, MD, “Women, Ambition, and Representation,” January 19, 2011.  
  • Institute for Women’s Policy Research, Washington, DC, “The 2010 Midterm Elections,” November 10, 2010.  
  • American Association of Medical Colleges, Washington, DC, “Why Women Don’t Run for Office and What Happens When They Do,” November 9, 2010.  
  • American Association of School Boards, Washington, DC, “Why Women Don’t Run for Office and What Happens When They Do,” November 9, 2010.  
  • Massachusetts National Organization for Women, Boston, MA, “Why Women Don’t Run for Office and What Happens When They Do,” November 6, 2010.  
  • EMILY’s List, Washington, DC, Election Day Expert, November 2, 2010.  
  • Government Affairs Institute at Georgetown University, Washington, DC, “Why We Shouldn’t Believe  What We Read In The Newspaper,” October 27, 2010.  
  • University of Rochester’s Susan B. Anthony Center, Rochester, NY, “Women and the 2010 Elections,” October 15, 2010.  
  • Running Start, Washington, DC, “Women, Ambition, and Representation,” October 1, 2010.  
  • Emerge Oregon, Portland, OR, “Why Women Don’t Run for Office and What Happens When They Do,” September 28, 2010.<  
  • Women’s Media Center and Women’s Campaign Forum, Washington, DC, “Name It, Change It,” September 23, 2010.  
  • Emerge New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM, “Why Women Don’t Run for Office and What Happens When They Do,” August 28, 2010.  
  • U.S. State Department, Washington, DC, “Women, Campaigns, and Elections in the U.S.,” June 23, 2010.  
  • Center for Women’s Business Research, Washington, DC, “Why Women Don’t Run for Office and What Happens When They Do,” June 9, 1010.  
  • Democratic National Committee’s Women’s Leadership Council, Washington, DC, “Women and the Democratic Party,” May 7, 2010  
  • Sewell-Belmont House and the Female Congressional Staffers’ Association, Washington, DC, “Women, Campaigns, and Elections,” April 28, 2010.  
  • Women’s Fund of Western Massachusetts, Holyoke, MA, “Women and the Political Process,” March 27, 2010.  
  • Rachel’s Network, Washington, DC, “Why Women Don’t Run for Office and What Happens When They Do,” March 17, 2010.  
  • Running Start, Washington, DC, “Women, Ambition, and Representation,” February, 19, 2010.  
  • Women’s Fund of Rhode Island, Providence, RI, “Women and the Political Process,” October 22, 2009.  
  • Running Start, Washington, DC, “Women, Ambition, and Representation,” October 9,  2009.  
  • Feminist Majority Foundation’s Women, Money, Power Summit, Washington, DC, “Political Recruitment and Women’s Representation: The Changes We Need to Pursue,” October 4, 2009.  
  • Eleanor Roosevelt Legacy Committee, Rhinebeck, NY, “Women, Political Ambition, and the Policy Process,” March 10, 2009.  
  • Eleanor Roosevelt Legacy Committee, New York, NY, “Young Women and Political Ambition,” February 16, 2009.  
  • Emerge America, Los Altos, CA, “Why Women Don’t Run for Office and What Happens When They Do,” January 26, 2009.  
  • Teach For America, San Francisco, CA, “Getting Young People Engaged in Politics: The Problem and the Solution,” January 25, 2009.  
  • Credit Suisse, Sonoma, CA, “Election 2008: How Did We Get Here and Where Do We Go?” November 14, 2008.  
  • The Women’s University Club, Middletown, NY, “Why Women Don’t Run for Office and What Happens When They Do,” October 16, 2008.  
  • Eleanor Roosevelt Legacy Committee, New York, NY, “Women and Election 2008,” September 11, 2008.  
  • University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill, Women’s Center, “Taking the Plunge: Women, Ambition, and Electoral Politics,” October 25, 2007.  
  • Feminist Majority Foundation Campus Leadership Conference – Providence, RI, “Women, Ambition, and Representation,” Keynote Address, October 20, 2007.  
  • Girls, Inc., Providence, RI, “Women, Politics, and Progress,” Keynote Speaker, October 19, 2007.  
  • Center for American Progress and the Campus Progress Conference, Washington, DC, “Embedding Feminism Across the Progressive Spectrum,” June 26, 2007.  
  • Coalition of Labor Union Women, Pittsburg, PA, “Run for Office?  Sure You Can,” June 1, 2007.  
  • Women & Politics Leadership Institute’s Annual Conference, American University, “Why Women Must Run for Office,” Keynote Speaker, May 17, 2007.  
  • U.S. State Department, “Women in U.S. Politics: Voters, Candidates, and Elected Officials,” Lectures at Leiden University, University of Amsterdam, and Groningen University, Netherlands, October 18 – 19, 2004.  
  • Asia Foundation, “Women and the 2004 Election,” September 23, 2004.  

Media Appearances

Appeared in Miss Representation (a 2011film that exposes how the mainstream media contribute to the under-representation of women in positions of power and influence in America. It premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and aired on the Oprah Winfrey Network).

Scholarly and political commentary and analysis also quoted in (or on) the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Washington Post, New Republic, New Yorker, Chronicle of Higher Education, Boston Globe, Pittsburgh-Gazette, Seattle Times, Hartford Courant, Providence Journal, American Prospect, Christian Science Monitor, Politico, Associated Press Newswire, Reuters, the Today Show, the Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell, the Situation Room , C-SPAN’s Washington Journal, the CBS Evening News, ABC World News Tonight, NBC’s Election Center, Jansing & Co., Voice of America, Sun News (Canada), CTV (Canada), cnn.com, msnbc.com, and foxnews.com.

Multimedia

Research Interests

Selected Publications

Books:

  • Lawless, Jennifer L. and Richard L. Fox. Turned Off: How Our Broken Political System Discourages Young Americans from Running for Office and How to Steer a New Course  (under contract with Oxford University Press, expected date of publication Spring 2015).  
  • Lawless, Jennifer L.  (2012)  Becoming A Candidate: Political Ambition and the Decision to Run for Office, New York: Cambridge University Press.  
  • Lawless, Jennifer L. and Richard L. Fox.  (2010)  It Still Takes A Candidate: Why Women Don’t Run for Office, New York: Cambridge University Press.  
  • Lawless, Jennifer L. and Richard L. Fox.  (2005)  It Takes A Candidate: Why Women Don’t Run for Office, New York: Cambridge University Press.  

Chapters in Books:

  • Lawless, Jennifer L.  (2014) Women Running for Office, In Robert A. Scott and Stephen M. Kosslyn (eds.) Emerging Trends in the Behavioral and Social Sciences, San Francisco: Wiley, forthcoming.  
  • Lawless, Jennifer L., Richard L. Fox, and Gail Baitinger. (2014) Women’s Under-Representation in U.S. Politics: The Enduring Gender Gap in Political Ambition, In Sue Thomas and Clyde Wilcox (eds.) Women and Elective Office, 3rd Edition, New York: Oxford University Press: pages 27-45.  
  • Lawless, Jennifer L.  (2012)  Twitter and Facebook: New Ways to Send the Same Old Message? In Richard L. Fox and Jennifer Ramos (eds.) iPolitics, New York: Cambridge University Press: pages 206-32.  
  • Lawless, Jennifer L.  (2010)  Women’s Leadership and Political Ambition: Why So Few Women Run for Office, In Karen O’Connor (ed.) Women’s Leadership Handbook, Thousand Oaks: Sage: pages 50-7.  
  • Lawless, Jennifer L. and Sean M. Theriault.  (2009)  Women in Congress: From Entry to Exit, In Lois Duke Whitaker (ed.) Women in Politics: Outsiders or Insiders? 5th Edition, Upper Saddle River: Prentice-Hall: pages 155-68.<  
  • Lawless, Jennifer L. and Kathryn Pearson.  (2008) Competing in Congressional Primaries, In Beth A. Reingold (ed.) Legislative Women: Getting Elected, Getting Ahead, Boulder: Lynne Reinner: pages 21-40.  
  • Lawless, Jennifer L. and Sean M. Theriault.  (2005)  Women in Congress: From Entry to Exit, In Lois Duke Whitaker (ed.) Women in Politics: Outsiders or Insiders? 4th Edition, Upper Saddle River: Prentice-Hall: pages 164-81.  
  • Brody, Richard A. and Jennifer L. Lawless. (2003) Political Ideology in the United States: Conservatism and Liberalism in the 1980s and 1990s, In R. Schultze, R. Strom, and D. Eberle (eds.) Conservative Parties and Right-Wing Politics in North America, Opladen: Leske and Budrich: pages 53-77.  

Refereed Journal Articles:

  • Hayes, Danny, Jennifer L. Lawless, and Gail Baitinger. (2014) Who Cares What They Wear? Media, Gender, and the Influence of Candidate Appearance, Social Science Quarterly, forthcoming.  
  • Fox, Richard L. and Jennifer L. Lawless (2014) Uncovering the Origins of the Gender Gap in Political Ambition, American Political Science Review 108(3):forthcoming.  
  • Fox, Richard L. and Jennifer L. Lawless. (2014) Reconciling Family Roles with Political Ambition: The New Normal for Women in 21st Century U.S. Politics, Journal of Politics 76(2):398-414.  
  • Fox, Richard L. and Jennifer L. Lawless. (2011) Gains and Losses in Interest in Running for Office: The Concept of Dynamic Political Ambition, Journal of Politics 73(2):443-62.  
  • Fox, Richard L. and Jennifer L. Lawless. (2011) Gendered Perceptions and Political Candidacies: A Central Barrier to Women’s Equality in Electoral Politics, American Journal of Political Science 55(1):59-73. <  
  • Fox, Richard L. and Jennifer L. Lawless.  (2010)  If Only They’d Ask: Gender, Recruitment, and Political Ambition, Journal of Politics72(2):310-36.  
  • Fowler, Linda and Jennifer L. Lawless.  (2009)  Looking for Sex in All the Wrong Places: Press Coverage and the Electoral Fortunes of Gubernatorial Candidates, Perspectives 7(3):519-36.  
  • Lawless, Jennifer L.  (2009)  Sexism and Gender Bias in Election 2008: A More Complex Path for Women in Politics, Politics & Gender 5(1):70-80.  
  • Lawless, Jennifer L. and Kathryn Pearson.  (2008) The Primary Reason for Women’s Under-Representation: Re-Evaluating the Conventional Wisdom, Journal of Politics 70(1):67-82.  
  • Lawless, Jennifer L. and Sean M. Theriault.  (2005)  Will She Stay or Will She Go?  Career Ceilings and Women’s Retirement from the U.S. Congress, Legislative Studies Quarterly 30(4):581-96.  
  • Fox, Richard L. and Jennifer L. Lawless.  (2005)  To Run or Not to Run for Office: Explaining Nascent Political Ambition, American Journal of Political Science 49(3):659-76.  
  • Lawless, Jennifer L.  (2004)  Women, War, and Winning Elections: Gender Stereotyping in the Post September 11th Era, Political Research Quarterly 53(3):479-90.  
  • Fox, Richard L. and Jennifer L. Lawless.  (2004) Entering the Arena?  Gender and the Decision to Run for Office, American Journal of Political Science 48(2):264-80 (Reprinted in Sarah Childs and Mona Lena Krook (eds.), Women, Gender, and Politics: A Reader, New York: Oxford: Chapter 17.)  
  • Lawless, Jennifer L.  (2004) Politics of Presence: Women in the House and Symbolic Representation, Political Research Quarterly 53(1):81-99.  
  • Fox, Richard L. and Jennifer L. Lawless.   (2003) Family Structure, Sex-Role Socialization, and the Decision to Run for Office, Women & Politics 24(4):19-48.(Reprinted in Karen O’Connor, Sarah E. Brewer, and Michael Philip Fisher (eds.), Gendering American Politics: Perspectives from the Literature, New York: Pearson Longman: pages 87-95.)  
  • Fox, Richard L., Jennifer L. Lawless and Courtney Feeley.  (2001) Gender and the Decision to Run for Office, Legislative Studies Quarterly 26:411-35.  
  • Lawless, Jennifer L. and Richard L. Fox.  (2001) Political Participation Among the Urban Poor, Social Problems 48:265-82.  
  • Lawless, Jennifer L. and Richard L. Fox.  (1999) Women Candidates in Kenya: Political Socialization and Representation, Women & Politics 20(4):49-76.
     

Non-Refereed Journal Articles (and Policy Reports):

  • Lawless, Jennifer L. and Richard L. Fox.  (2013)  Girls Just Wanna Not Run: The Gender Gap in Young Americans’ Political Ambition, Washington, DC: Women & Politics Institute.  
  • Lawless, Jennifer L.  (2012) Why Women Don’t Run for Office and How We Can Change That, Bulletin – American Academy of Otolaryngology 31(10):32-3.  
  • Lawless, Jennifer L. and Richard L. Fox.  (2012)  Men Rule: The Continued Under-Representation of Women in U.S. Politics, Washington, DC: Women & Politics Institute.  
  • Lawless, Jennifer L.  (2011)  The State of the Field: Studying Women, Gender, and Politics, Politics & Gender 7(1):91-3.  
  • Lawless, Jennifer L.  (2010)  The Republicans’ Sex Problem, Harvard International Review 32(2):4-5.  
  • Lawless, Jennifer L.  (2010)  Women’s Political Participation, Encyclopedia of Political Science, Washington, DC: Congressional Quarterly Press.  
  • Lawless, Jennifer L. and Richard L. Fox.  (2008)  Why Are Women Still Not Running for Public Office? Issues in Governance Studies, May, Number 14, Washington, DC: Brookings.  
  • Lawless, Jennifer L. and Richard L. Fox.  (2008)  Why Are Women Still Not Running for Office? Brown Policy Reports, Providence: Taubman Center for Public Policy.     
  • Lawless, Jennifer L. and Richard L. Fox.  (2004)  Why Don’t Women Run for Office? Brown Policy Reports, Providence: Taubman Center for Public Policy.    
  • Lawless, Jennifer L. and Richard L. Fox.  (1997) Why Women’s Voices Are Not Heard: Gender and Political Socialization in Kenya, Current World Leaders 40(6):86-105.    

Other Publications:

  • Fox, Richard L. and Jennifer L. Lawless. (2013) Turning Off the Next Generation of Politicians, Washington Post, November 24.  
  • Hayes, Danny and Jennifer L. Lawless.  (2013) Voters Don’t Care How Women in Politics Look, Washington Post Wonkblog, June 23.  
  • Dolan, Kathleen and Jennifer L. Lawless.  (2012)  Does Romney Get Women Who Work? CNN.com, October 19.  
  • Dolan, Kathleen and Jennifer L. Lawless.  (2012) In Veepstakes, Women Don’t Rate, CNN.com, April 24.     
  • Lawless, Jennifer L.  (2012)  Face It: Romney is Way Out in Front, CNN.com, January 11.  
  • Lawless, Jennifer L.  (2011)  Bachmann for President? I’ll Take the Glass Ceiling, CNN.com, June 27.  
  • Lawless, Jennifer L.  (2011)  A Government Shutdown? Yes, Please, CNN.com, April 8.  
  • Lawless, Jennifer L.  (2010)  It Was No Year of the Woman, CNN.com, November 3.  
  • Lawless, Jennifer L.  (2010)  Not the Year of the Woman, Slate.com, November 3.  
  • Lawless, Jennifer L.  (2010)  Is It Really a Great Year for Women in Politics? Slate.com, November 2.  
  • Lawless, Jennifer L.  (2010)  Vote Not New Dawn for Women in Politics, CNN.com, June 9.  

In Progress:

  • Hayes, Danny and Jennifer L. Lawless.  “A Non-Gendered Lens? Media, Voters, and Female Candidates in Contemporary Congressional Elections.” Under review.  
  • Hayes, Danny and Jennifer L. Lawless. “As Local News Goes, So Goes Citizen Engagement: Media, Knowledge, and Participation in U.S. House Elections.” Under review.

AU Expert

Area of Expertise: Women and politics, campaigns, elections

Additional Information: Jennifer L. Lawless received her PhD in political science from Stanford University in 2003 and her  BA in political science from Union College in 1997. Prior to joining the American University faculty in fall of 2009, she was an assistant professor of political science at Brown University with a courtesy appointment at the Taubman Center for Public Policy. Her teaching and research focus on gender politics, electoral politics, and public opinion. She has published numerous articles in academic journals, such as the American Journal of Political Science, Political Research Quarterly, Legislative Studies Quarterly, and Journal of Politics and Politics & Gender and Perspectives. Lawless is the author of Becoming A Candidate: Political Ambition and the Decision to Run for Office (Cambridge University Press, forthcoming) and the lead author of  It Still Takes a Candidate: Why Women Don't Run for Office (Cambridge University Press, 2010).  She also coauthored a Brookings Institution policy report used by various women’s groups and state party organizations to help promote and recruit women candidates. Currently, she serves as the editor of Politics & Gender.

A recognized speaker on the subject of electoral politics, Lawless frequently discusses these issues on national and local television and radio outlets. Her scholarly analysis and political commentary have been quoted in the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, New Republic, Chronicle of Higher Education, Boston Globe, Pittsburgh-Gazette, Seattle Times, Hartford Courant, Providence Journal, Associated Press Newswire, and Today Show and Reuters, CNN.com, MSNBC.com, and FOXNews.com. In 2006, she sought the Democratic nomination for the U.S. House of Representatives in Rhode Island’s second congressional district. Although she lost the race, she is still very active in politics, most recently joining the national board of Emerge America.

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