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Women’s History Month: AU Experts Available to Comment

March is National Women’s History Month and  American University faculty experts are available to comment on a variety of issues, including the influence of America’s First Ladies, the gender gap in political ambition, women in politics, women voters, women’s careers and working mothers, barriers to women’s advancement in the workplace, feminism, and women in journalism.

Each expert below has substantial experience with press interviews. To request an interview with one of American University’s human rights wonks, contact AU’s Communications Office at 202-885-5950 or

Anita McBride, an executive in residence with AU’s School of Public Affairs, has a long and distinguished career in American politics and government. Most recently, she served as assistant to President George W. Bush and chief of staff to First Lady Laura Bush from January 2005 to January 2009. To kick off Women’s History Month, McBride is directing the conference, The Legacies of America's First Ladies, on March 1.  The conference will examine the role of First Ladies throughout U.S. history and their impact on politics, policy, and diplomacy.

Jill Klein, an expert on information technology, information systems, e-business, and emerging information technologies, can discuss the role of women in the technology sector and women's board representation. Klein is an active member of Women in Technology, the premier organization contributing to the success of professional women in the Washington, D.C.-area technology community. Klein contributed to new research for WIT that found women are under-represented on the boards of publicly traded companies in the D.C. area. Klein is also the faculty advisor to the Kogod Women in Business group.  

Jennifer Lawless, director of AU’s Women & Politics Institute, can discuss women voters, candidates, policies that affect women, campaigns and election, and the gender gap in political ambition. She has published numerous articles in academic journals and is the lead author of It Still Takes A Candidate: Why Women Don't Run for Office (Cambridge University Press, 2010) and a Brookings Institution policy report used by various women’s groups and state party organizations to help promote and recruit women candidates.

Pamela Nadell, the Patrick Clendenen Chair in Women's and Gender History, can comment on American women's history, especially the nineteenth-century women's movement which led to the 1920 suffrage amendment and the second wave of feminism in the 1960s. Nadell, an expert in women’s history, is also an expert in Jewish history, the history of Jewish women, the Holocaust, American Jewry, American Jewish history, and Judaism.

Caren Goldberg, an assistant professor of management, can comment on work-related issues relating to women including women's careers, barriers to women's advancement, and sexual harassment. Her research interest is in the impact of diversity on individuals and work groups. Goldberg, an expert on human resource management and diversity, has also done a great deal of research on sexual harassment, focusing on the factors associated with harassment, individual responses to harassment, and the impact of sexual harassment awareness training.

Meredith Persily Lamel, an executive in residence with AU’s Kogod School of Business, can talk about the specific challenges of high-achieving, professional mothers in today’s economy and work-life challenges for female staff and congresswomen in the legislative branch. Persily is the founder of Working MAMA, a group coaching program for professional moms.   

Mary Gray, chair of AU’s Department of Mathematics and Statistics, has been involved with Amnesty International USA for more than 25 years, including time spent serving as the organization’s international treasurer. An expert on human rights issues—especially as they pertain to women—Gray can discuss economic and educational equity issues from an historic and legal perspective, including issues such as salaries, insurance, pensions, hiring and promotions. She can also discuss women in science and mathematics and the debate about why fewer women are in those fields.

Debarati Sen, an assistant professor of anthropology, can discuss the celebration of International Women's Day (March 8) among rural women in North East India (Darjeeling). She has been working with women tea farmers in this region since 2004 and can elaborate on  the significance of this day for women who do not otherwise identify as feminists. She is specifically interested in how Women's Day celebrations fit in with these women’s wider struggles for social and economic justice in their own communities.

Patricia Sykes, an associate professor of government, can comment on women leaders and women in politics. Sykes, an expert in national government and politics in the United States, United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, is writing a book about women leaders in Anglo-American systems.  In 2010, the Canadian government granted Sykes a Faculty Research Award for her research on female leaders in Canadian politics.  

Jane Hall, an expert on women in journalism, can discuss the history and status of women in the media and the depiction of women in the media.  Hall recently wrote a chapter about the history and status of women in TV and newspapers for Gender and Women’s Leadership: A Reference Handbook a comprehensive 1,104-page, two-volume reference set that includes 101 essays on theories of leadership, the history of women’s leadership, and actual women’s leadership in various contexts. Hall is moderating a panel at the  Tuesday, March 1, AU conference Legacies of America's First Ladies.

Dotty Lynch, director of AU’s political communication graduate program and a political consultant for CBS News, can discuss the gender gap in politics, women voters, and women in politics.  Lynch covered politics at CBS News for more than 20 years, including her last appointment as senior political editor. She is an expert on survey research, polling, campaigns and elections, and women in politics and journalism.

Marianne Noble, an associate professor of literature, is an expert on American literature, culture studies, and gender studies, with a particular emphasis on the construction of sexuality in nineteenth-century American women's literature.  Noble can discuss nineteenth-century American women authors, including Edith Wharton, Emily Dickinson, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Susan Warner, Margaret Fuller, and Julia Ward Howe, whose works largely focused on women’s roles in society and advocated for women’s rights.

Gemma Puglisi, an expert on media relations, public relations, and crisis communications, can discuss women in the media. Puglisi’s career includes 25 years of experience divided among talent agency work, broadcasting, and media and public relations.  Her broadcast experience includes NBC Nightly News with Tom Brokaw, the Today Show, Sunday Today, and MSNBC.

Pamela Bridgewater, a professor in AU’s Washington College of Law, can comment on reproduction, legal regulation of reproduction, women's and girl's health, sexuality, feminism, inheritance law, U.S. slavery, and reparations for reproductive slavery.  Bridgewater has testified to federal and state lawmakers on issues ranging from HPV vaccinations, and contraceptive and sterilization abuse to the FDA's reauthorization of silicone breast implants. She writes about reproduction and the law, legal history, feminism and race in the law, and queer legal theory.

Additional experts are available at American University’s searchable expert’s database at

American University is a leader in global education, enrolling a diverse student body from throughout the United States and nearly 140 countries. Located in Washington, D.C., the university provides opportunities for academic excellence, public service, and internships in the nation’s capital and around the world.