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Women in Politics: Past, Present, and Future

Date & Time

October 2, 2020 @ 1:00 - 2:00 pm EDT

Location

Online

Vodcast

Overview

From Abigail Adams to suffragists to presidential tickets, women have played consequential roles in American politics as voters, activists, candidates, and officeholders. This panel will examine how women have influenced and been affected by politics, law, and public policy.

Speaker(s)

Melody Barnes

Professor of Practice, Dorothy Danforth Compton Professor, and Co-Director of the Democracy Initiative at the Miller Center

Melody Barnes is co-director for policy and public affairs for the Democracy Initiative, an interdisciplinary teaching, research, and engagement effort led by the College and Graduate School of Arts & Sciences at the University of Virginia. She is the Dorothy Danforth Compton Professor and a professor of practice at the Miller Center and is also a distinguished fellow at the UVA School of Law. A co-founder of the domestic strategy firm MB2 Solutions LLC, Barnes has spent more than 25 years crafting public policy on a wide range of domestic issues.

During the administration of President Barack Obama, Barnes was assistant to the president and director of the White House Domestic Policy Council. She was also executive vice president for policy at the Center for American Progress and chief counsel to the late Senator Edward M. Kennedy on the Senate Judiciary Committee. Her experience includes an appointment as director of legislative affairs for the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and assistant counsel to the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Civil and Constitutional Rights. Barnes began her career as an attorney with Shearman & Sterling in New York City.

Barnes earned her BA from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she graduated with honors in history, and her JD from the University of Michigan. She serves on the boards of directors of several corporate, non-profit, and philanthropic organizations.

Jennifer Lawless

Commonwealth Professor of Politics and Faculty Senior Fellow at the Miller Center

Jennifer L. Lawless is the Commonwealth Professor of Politics at the University of Virginia. Prior to joining the UVA faculty, she was a professor of government at American University and the director of the Women & Politics Institute. Before that, she was an assistant and then associate professor at Brown University.

Lawless’s research focuses on political ambition, campaigns and elections, and media and politics. She is the author or co-author of six books, including Women on the Run: Gender, Media, and Political Campaigns in a Polarized Era (with Danny Hayes) and It Still Takes a Candidate: Why Women Don’t Run for Office (with Richard L. Fox). Her research, which has been supported by the National Science Foundation, has appeared in numerous academic journals and is regularly cited in the popular press. She is an editor of the American Journal of Political Science and holds an appointment as a non-resident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution.

Lawless graduated from Union College with a BA in political science, and Stanford University with an MA and PhD in political science. 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 remains an obsessive political junkie.

Barbara Perry

Gerald L. Baliles Professor and Director of Presidential Studies at the Miller Center

Barbara A. Perry is the Gerald L. Baliles Professor and Director of Presidential Studies at the University of Virginia’s Miller Center, where she co-directs the Presidential Oral History Program. She has authored or edited 14 books on presidents, First Ladies, the Kennedy family, the Supreme Court, and civil rights and civil liberties. Perry has conducted more than 100 interviews for the George H. W. Bush, Bill  Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama Presidential Oral History Projects and she directs the Edward Kennedy Oral History Project. She served as a U.S. Supreme Court fellow and has worked for both Republican and Democratic members of the Senate.

Her books include 42: Inside the Presidency of Bill Clinton (edited with Michael Nelson and Russell Riley); 41: Inside the Presidency of George H.W. Bush (edited with Michael Nelson); Rose Kennedy: The Life and Times of a Political Matriarch; Jacqueline Kennedy: First Lady of the New Frontier; Edward Kennedy: An Oral History; and The Priestly Tribe: The Supreme Court’s Image in the American Mind.

A native of Louisville, Kentucky, Perry earned a PhD in government from the University of Virginia; an MA degree in politics, philosophy, and economics from Oxford University; and a BA degree in political science, with highest honors, from the University of Louisville.

Perry is a frequent media commentator for national and international news sources. She is prepared to discuss American presidents, especially FDR through Obama, with particular expertise on JFK and the Kennedy family. Perry has taught all aspects of American government/politics and can respond to media questions on most topics related to presidential campaigns and elections, public policy, and presidential communications. In addition to the American presidency (including First Ladies), her research, writing, and commentary have covered the U.S. Supreme Court, particularly presidential appointments, as well as civil rights and civil liberties.

Craig Volden (Moderator)

Professor of Public Policy and Politics and Director of the Center for Effective Lawmaking at the Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy

Craig Volden is a professor of public policy and politics, with appointments in the Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy and the Woodrow Wilson Department of Politics at the University of Virginia. He studies legislative politics and the interaction among political institutions, including within American federalism.

Before joining the Batten School, Volden taught at the Ohio State University, the Harris School of Public Policy at the University of Chicago, and Claremont Graduate University. His most recent book, Legislative Effectiveness in the United States Congress: The Lawmakers (winner of the 2015 Fenno Prize and the 2015 Gladys M. Kammerer Award), co-authored with Alan Wiseman, explores the effectiveness of individual members of Congress in overcoming policy gridlock. His most prominent work on issues of federalism focuses on why some policies diffuse across states and localities while others do not. He has published numerous articles in such journals as: American Political Science Review; American Journal of Political Science; Journal of Politics; Legislative Studies Quarterly; Public Administration Review; Journal of Public Policy; and Publius: The Journal of Federalism.

His current projects include studies of innovation and policy diffusion across states and localities, and an analysis of the legislative effectiveness of individual members of Congress. He is co-director of the Center for Effective Lawmaking (thelawmakers.org).

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