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Women & Politics Institute

The Women & Politics Institute provides practical and academic training to women that encourages them to become involved in the political process and facilitates research by faculty and students that enhances our understanding of the challenges and opportunities women face in the political arena.

Message from the Executive Director Year-End Update

As we close out 2019, here's a snapshot of what the great team at WPI has been working on the last three semesters. 

WPI by the numbers

This list, of course, represents only the highlights and there is no doubt it’s been an exciting time to be at the center of a national conversation about the importance of having more women in political leadership.

As we approach a presidential election year as well as the centennial commemoration of women’s suffrage, we eagerly anticipate a busy and energetic year ahead.  We are also looking forward to celebrating the 20th anniversary of WPI, founded by Dr. Karen O’Connor, Jonathan N. Helfat Distinguished Professor of Political Science.

Only with your help can we offer more courses, enroll more students, train more young women to run for office, conduct more research, convene more special events, and ensure that women have a seat at all of the tables where the most important decisions are made.

Thanks to you, we’ve accomplished so much this year. Click here for a full overview and please consider supporting our work in 2020 with a $1,000, $500, $250, or $100 tax deductible contribution.

Together, we will change the face of politics!
Full Overview

Event Recaps

Ali Lapp, China Dickerson, Liesl Hickey, and Betsy Fischer Martin

WeLead Training Session

November 16: The session began with long-time fundraiser and founder of The LS Group Lisa Spies, emphasizing curiosity and generosity over a more transactional approach, followed by panelists Liesl HickeyAli LappChina Dickerson and Betsy Fischer Martin who explained PACs, SuperPACS and Independent Expenditures. 
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Knock Down the House Panelists

Knock Down the House

October 30: A riveting documentary which chronicles the endeavors of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Amy Vilela, Cori Bush, and Paula Jean Swearengin ... Read More

She Persisted Panliests


October 15: In collaboration with the Women in Public Service Project, WPI hosted a discussion on the intersection of women, politics, and the world of new media. Read More

News Stories

Woman engaged and talking at event.

On Campus ·

Daring to Make a Difference: Strategists Talk Women in Politics

Donna Brazile, Minyon Moore, and Yolanda Caraway discuss their book at WPI event.
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Event panelists

On Campus ·

Gender on the Ballot: The Electability Question in 2020

The Women & Politics Institute and the Barbara Lee Family Foundation co-hosted a panel discussion on campus to shed light on what the much-discussed concept of “electability” actually means to voters in the lead-up to the 2020 presidential election.
Full Story

Rep. Lauren Underwood at WeLead Graduation Ceremony

Achievements ·

Rep. Underwood Addresses Graduating Women of WeLead Program

This week, American University School of Public Affairs' Women & Politics Institute held its annual WeLead program graduation at the D.C. Office of  MacAndrews & Forbes.
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Upcoming Events

Check back soon for updates!

Woman typing on a computer

Black Women’s Political Leadership: The Barriers

December 11, 2019

Are money, electability and gatekeepers keeping black women out of political leadership? WeLead expert speaker Atima Omara has a two-part blog series on the subject. 

Capitol Hill

The Gender Gap in Congress - Supply or Demand Problem?

December 4, 2019

In the latest Gender on the Ballot post, SPA Instructor Andrew Ballard looks at whether the gender gap in congressional representation is a supply-side (who chooses to run) or demand-side (people's willingness to vote for a certain type of candidate) issue. 

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WeLead Reader

A curated newsletter, delivered to inboxes on Saturday mornings, readers can catch up on a week’s worth of important new developments about women running for office, serving as leaders and engaging in the political arena.

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Gender on the Ballot Newsletter

Stay up-to-date on all the latest news + gender analysis in election 2020.

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WPI Newsletter

Sign up for the WPI Newsletter to view recent highlights and learn about upcoming opportunities and events.

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