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Department of Government

The Department of Government boasts one of the most distinctive and vital programs of its kind nationwide. The department’s faculty include leading scholars in the fields of American politics, comparative politics, and political theory, and represent a wide variety of disciplines. This breadth of faculty expertise serves as the foundation for an interdisciplinary department committed to conducting research on a broad range of issues and preparing students to think critically about these issues.

Department Chair

  1. Thomas Merrill, Interim Department Chair for SPA/Government

    SPA - Government

    Thomas W. Merrill is Associate Professor in the Department of Government and Associate Director of the Political Theory Institute. His book, David Hume and the Politics of Enlightenment (Cambridge, 2015) won the Delba Winthrop Prize for Best Recent W… More

    Send email to Thomas Merrill

    (202) 885-6246

Tenure-line Faculty

  1. Todd Eisenstadt, Professor

    SPA - Government

    Professor Eisenstadt's research focuses on the intersection of formal institutions and laws with informal institutions and practices, mostly in democratizing countries in Latin America. He is presently PI (along with Karleen West) of a National Scien… More

    Send email to Todd Eisenstadt

    (202) 885-6493

  2. Eric Hershberg, Director, Center for Latin American and Latino Studies

    Center for Latin American/Latino Studies

    Eric Hershberg is Director of the Center for Latin American and Latino Studies and Professor of Government at American University. From 2007-2009 he was Professor of Political Science and Director of Latin American Studies at Simon Fraser University,… More

    Send email to Eric Hershberg

    (202) 885-6172

  3. Gregg Ivers, Professor

    SPA - Government

    Gregg Ivers is Professor of Government in the School of Public Affairs at American University. Professor Ivers is the author or editor of eight books, including To Build a Wall: American Jews and the Separation of Church and State, Creating Constitut… More

    Send email to Gregg Ivers

    (202) 885-2976

  4. Ruth Lane, Associate Professor

    SPA - Government

    Professor Lane's research and teaching interests focus on Comparative Politics, Research Methodology; and include Computer Modeling and Cognitive Science. She is the author of the recently published The Art of Comparative Politics and Political Scien… More

    Send email to Ruth Lane

    (202) 885-6232

  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. Adrienne LeBas, Associate Professor

    SPA - Government

    Adrienne LeBas (PhD, Columbia University) joined the Department of Government in the fall of 2009. Prior to joining AU, LeBas was a Prize Research Fellow at Nuffield College, University of Oxford, and Assistant Professor of Political Science and Afri… More

    Send email to Adrienne LeBas

    (202) 885-6229

  7. 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

  8. William LeoGrande, Professor

    SPA - Government

    Professor of Government and a specialist in Latin American politics and U.S. foreign policy toward Latin America, Professor LeoGrande has been a frequent adviser to government and private sector agencies. He has written five books, including Our Own … More

    Send email to William LeoGrande

    (202) 885-6234

  9. Alan Levine, Director, Political Theory Institute and Associate Professor

    SPA - Government

    Alan M. Levine is Associate Professor of political theory in the Department of Government and the founding director of the Political Theory Institute. He is also an Affiliate Associate Professor in AU’s Department of Philosophy. He has held fellowshi… More

    Send email to Alan Levine

    (202) 885-6257

  10. Jie Lu, Associate Professor

    SPA - Government

    Dr. Lu studies local governance, the political economy of institutional change, public opinion, and political participation. His regional expertise focuses on the Greater China Region and East Asia. His work has appeared in Comparative Political Stud… More

    Send email to Jie Lu

    (202) 885-6281

  11. David Lublin, Professor

    SPA - Government

    The recipient of two grants from the National Science Foundation grants and a fellowship from the German Marshall Fund, David Lublin has authored three books, including Minority Rules: Electoral Systems, Decentralization, and Ethnoregional Parties pu… More

    Send email to David Lublin

    (202) 885-2913

  12. Ryan Moore, Assistant Professor

    SPA - Government

    Ryan T. Moore is assistant professor of Government in the School of Public Affairs. His research interests include American politics, the politics of social policies (such as pensions, welfare, and health), and statistical methods, especially for cau… More

    Send email to Ryan Moore

    (202) 885-6470

  13. 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

  14. Saul Newman, Interim Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education

    SPA - Government

    Saul Newman is an associate professor in the Department of Government in the School of Public Affairs at American University in Washington, DC. He received his PhD in 1989 from the Department of Politics, Princeton University. Since then he has taugh… More

    Send email to Saul Newman

    (202) 885-6240

  15. Karen O'Connor, Jonathan N. Helfat Distinguished Professor of Political Science

    SPA - Government

    Karen O’Connor is the Jonathan N. Helfat Distinguished Professor of Political Science at American University, where she previously served as Chair of the Department of Government. She is an expert on American politics, the courts, women and politics,… More

    Send email to Karen O'Connor

    (202) 885-6237

  16. Diane Singerman, Associate Professor

    SPA - Government

    Dr. Singerman is an Associate Professor and comparativist whose research interests focus on political change from below, particularly in the Middle East, and more specifically Egypt. Her work examines the formal and informal side of politics, gender,… More

    Send email to Diane Singerman

    (202) 885-2362

  17. 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 arrived at AU in 2014 after five years at Lafayette College. Her articles, on topics ranging from political … More

    Send email to Elizabeth Suhay

    (202) 885-6258

  18. Patricia Sykes, Associate Professor

    SPA - Government

    Professor Sykes focuses on the U.S. presidency, comparative executive leadership, political parties, democratic theory, and political development. She's the sole author of two scholarly books – Presidents and Prime Ministers: Conviction Politics in t… More

    Send email to Patricia Sykes

    (202) 885-2920

  19. Steven Taylor, Associate Professor

    SPA - Government

    Professor Taylor's teaching and research focus on urban politics, the politics of race and ethnicity, civil rights and liberties, and political culture both in the U.S. and West Africa. (During the Spring of 2016 he was a Fulbright scholar in Ghana.)… More

    Send email to Steven Taylor

    (202) 885-6241

  20. James Thurber, Distinguished Professor

    SPA - Government

    James A. Thurber is University Distinguished Professor of Government and Founder (1979) and Director of the Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies ( at American University, Washington, D.C. Under his direction, CCPS organ… More

    Send email to James Thurber

    (202) 885-6247

  21. Matthew Wright, Assistant Professor

    SPA - Government

    Professor Wright has taught courses on American politics, public opinion, political psychology, immigration, and political methodology. In his research, he has explored numerous topics relevant to American politics and comparative politics more gener… More

    Send email to Matthew Wright

    (202) 885-6458

  22. Thomas Zeitzoff, Assistant Professor

    SPA - Justice, Law and Criminology

    Dr. Thomas Zeitzoff is an assistant professor in the School of Public Affairs at American University. He received his Ph.D. in Politics from New York University in 2013, and was previously a postdoctoral fellow at Princeton University. His research e… More

    Send email to Thomas Zeitzoff

Emeriti Faculty

  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. Jeff Fishel, Professor Emeritus

  3. Susan Hammond, Professor Emerita

Term Faculty

  1. Kimberly Cowell-Meyers, Assistant Professor

    SPA - Government

    Kimberly Cowell-Meyers is Assistant Professor of Government. An AU alumna, she has taught at AU, St. Mary's College of Maryland and Christopher Newport University in Newport News, VA. She is the author of Religion and Politics in the Nineteenth Centu… More

    Send email to Kimberly Cowell-Meyers

    (202) 885-6223

  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. G. Borden Flanagan, Assistant Professor

    SPA - Government

    On research leave at the University of Toronto for the academic year 2014-2015. Borden Flanagan’s area of expertise is the history of Western political philosophy. His teaching and research interests include ancient, renaissance, modern and postmoder… More

    Send email to G. Borden Flanagan

    (202) 885-6495

  4. Susan Glover, Assistant Professor

    SPA - Government

    Professor Glover teaches and does research in the field of comparative politics, with a concentration on Africa. Her past work has focused on democratic transition and consolidation in multi-ethnic states. She has lived and worked in southern Africa,… More

    Send email to Susan Glover

    (202) 885-2674

  5. Claire Griggs, Professorial Lecturer

    SPA - Justice, Law and Criminology

    Claire Griggs is a faculty member in the Department of Justice, Law and Criminology in the School of Public Affairs. Professor Griggs serves as the Faculty Advisor to the SPA Leadership Program. Prior to joining the faculty in SPA, she worked for the… More

    Send email to Claire Griggs

    (202) 885-6684

  6. Sarah Houser, Professorial Lecturer

    SPA - Government

    Sarah L. Houser is a professorial lecturer in the Department of Government in the School of Public Affairs at American University. Her research and teaching interests include patriotism and cosmopolitanism, the role of place in political life, and th… More

    Send email to Sarah Houser

    (202) 885-6263

  7. Jeremy Janow, Professorial Lecturer

    SPA - Government

    Send email to Jeremy Janow

  8. Paul Manuel, Professor

    Paul Christopher Manuel is the director of the SPA Leadership Program and professor of government. Manuel is the author or co-author of seven books and numerous articles. His research addresses issues related to comparative democratization, comparati… More

    Send email to Paul Manuel

  9. Lara Schwartz, Professorial Lecturer

    SPA - Government

    Lara Schwartz specializes in constitutional law, civil rights, politics, communications, and policy. With over a decade as a legislative lawyer, lobbyist, and communications strategist in leading civil rights organizations, Lara brings an advocate’s-… More

    Send email to Lara Schwartz

    (202) 885-6682

  10. Elizabeth Sherman, Assistant Professor

    SPA - Government

    Professor Sherman brings over two decades of teaching, research and administrative experience to her classes in American Politics. As founding director of the Center for Women in Politics and Public Policy at the University of Massachusetts Boston, D… More

    Send email to Elizabeth Sherman

    (202) 885-2942

Adjunct Faculty

  1. David Azerrad, Adjunct Professorial Lecturer

  2. Korneliya Bachiyska, Adjunct Professorial Lecturer

  3. Richard Benedetto, Adjunct Professorial Lecturer

    Richard Benedetto is an adjunct professor of Journalism. He is a retired White House correspondent and columnist for USA Today and political columnist for Gannett News Service. He began teaching at AU in 2006. He reported on local, state and national… More

    Send email to Richard Benedetto

  4. Kamal Beyoghlow, Adjunct Associate Professor

    Kamal Beyoghlow is an Adjunct Associate Professor of Government at American University but a full Professor of Strategy, the Middle East, N. Africa, and Islamic Studies at the US National War College.

    Send email to Kamal Beyoghlow

  5. Darren Blue, Adjunct Professorial Lecturer

  6. Jenna Brayton, Adjunct Instructor

  7. Glendon Diehl, Adjunct Professorial Lecturer

  8. Mickey Edwards, Distinguished Executive in Residence

  9. 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

  10. Lucy Gettman, Adjunct Instructor

    Lucy Gettman is Deputy Associate Executive Director for the National School Boards Association (NSBA). In addition to lobbying on behalf of education and 90,000 local school board members, Gettman serves as Vice President of the Board of Directors fo… More

    Send email to Lucy Gettman

  11. Carrie Giddins, Adjunct Professorial Lecturer

  12. 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

  13. Harry Grundy, Adjunct Professorial Lecturer

  14. William Imbrie, Adjunct Professorial Lecturer

    Andrew Imbrie serves as a Speechwriter to Secretary of State John Kerry. Previously, he served as a professional staff member and speechwriter on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Other professional experience includes work with the U.S. Missio… More

    Send email to William Imbrie

  15. Mark Kahan, Adjunct Professorial Lecturer

    Mark Kahan is an attorney and businessman. Beginning in 1972, he worked to reform energy and communications regulation at the New York Public Service Commission. In 1977, he moved to the Civil Aeronautics Board in Washington, D.C. to deregulate the a… More

    Send email to Mark Kahan

  16. John Kornacki, Adjunct Professorial Lecturer

    SPA - School of Public Affairs

    John Kornacki has been teaching courses for the Department of Government in SPA since 2012. He is a former congressional staff director, foundation officer, and research center administrator. He previously taught legislative affairs for the Graduate … More

    Send email to John Kornacki

    (202) 885-6443

  17. Jeffrey Lane, Adjunct Professorial Lecturer

    Jeff Lane is a counsel at the international law firm Dentons. Jeff joined Dentons after spending 20 years in the U.S. federal government, serving in senior positions in the legislative and executive branches. From 2010 to 2013, he served as the Assis… More

    Send email to Jeffrey Lane

  18. Roger Lukoff, Adjunct Professorial Lecturer

    SPA - Government

    Send email to Roger Lukoff

  19. Tofigh Maboudi, Adjunct Instructor

    Tofigh Maboudi is a PhD candidate in Political Science at American University's School of Public Affairs. His dissertation, “We the Constituents: Constitutions and Channeling of Democratic Participation in the Middle East and North Africa,” examines … More

    Send email to Tofigh Maboudi

  20. 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

  21. Constance Morella, Ambassador in Residence

    Connie Morella served as U.S. ambassador to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in Paris from 2003 to 2007. She represented Maryland’s 8th district in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1987 to 2003. While in Congres… More

    Send email to Constance Morella

  22. 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

  23. Keith Pemrick, Adjunct Professorial Lecturer

    Keith J. Pemrick is a founding member and managing partner of Commonwealth Strategic Partners, LLC (CSP). CSP is a bipartisan public policy firm providing expert political consulting, lobbying, and strategic communications services. Prior to forming … More

    Send email to Keith Pemrick

  24. Frank Rangoussis, Adjunct Professorial Lecturer

    Frank Rangoussis has been an adjunct professor with Justice, Law, and Criminology since 1998. Mr. Rangoussis is currently an attorney with the Office of Intelligence, within the Justice Department’s National Security Division, where seeks electronic … More

    Send email to Frank Rangoussis

  25. Alan Rosenblatt, Adjunct Professorial Lecturer

    Alan Rosenblatt is an adjunct professor of Public Communication. As the Associate Director, Alan directs the social media program for Online Advocacy at American Progress and CAP Action Fund. He is the founder of the Internet Advocacy Roundtable; blo… More

    Send email to Alan Rosenblatt

  26. William Shields, Adjunct Instructor

    Bill Shields became Executive Director of the American Society for Public Administration, the largest and most prominent professional association for public administration, in January 2014. He brings to the position more than 15 years of executive an… More

    Send email to William Shields

  27. Michael Siegel, Adjunct Professor

    Michael Siegel is a Senior Training Specialist in the Division of Education, The Federal Judicial Center, Washington, D.C. He organizes, conducts, and evaluates education and training programs for federal court personnel in the areas of change manage… More

    Send email to Michael Siegel

  28. Timothy Titus, Adjunct Professorial Lecturer

  29. Karen Wheeless, Adjunct Professorial Lecturer