Women & Politics Institute

The Women & Politics Institute provides practical and academic training that encourages women 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.


welead application generic

The WeLead2024 application is now open thru July 1. WeLead2024 will consist of six weekend all-day training sessions, in addition to other optional networking and professional events. Click below to learn more about gaining the skills and confidence to run for office, run a campaign, or serve in another leadership role in your community.


Academics Fall 2023 WPPL Courses

Fall 2023 WPPL Courses

The following core courses will be offered in Fall 2023 for the Women, Policy and Political Leadership (WPPL) Undergraduate and Graduate Certificate Programs. View all WPPL courses here and learn more about the certificate program here.

Gender on the Ballot


As the 2024 election comes into focus, Gender on the Ballot and the Benenson Strategy Group investigate whether women across the country are more interested in political issues and more motivated to get involved in politics at a local, state, or federal level.

The study reveals that women are engaged in politics, supportive of women elected officials, and tuned into conversations about hot-button issues such as reproductive rights and inflation. However, women are also burnt out, financially strained, and increasingly concerned about extremism in politics.

To learn more about this new research, check out our Gender on the Ballot website where you will find key takeaways, memo, and our press release.

Recent Blog Posts

LeaMond May Blog

Caregiving Might Be the Sleeper Issue of the 2024 Elections: AARP Chief Advocacy and Engagement Officer Nancy LeaMond explores the latest AARP survey findings that family caregiving could be the “sleeper issue of the 2024 elections.” LeaMond writes that candidates who want the “women’s vote” should focus on the issue as 57% of caregivers are women.

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AARP Research Shows Women Age 50+ Consistently More Economically Vulnerable Than Men: Chief Advocacy and Engagement Officer Nancy LeaMond of AARP discusses the latest She’s the Difference poll findings that women over 50 consistently feel more economically vulnerable than men, which is driven in part by the gender pay gap. 

WPI "Women on Wednesdays" Recaps

Check out all event recaps here, or visit our Crowdcast channel here to watch full replays of previous events.

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May 10: Erica Dhar, Julie Miller, and Julia Manchester discussed the global economy and the politics and priorities of older women with Betsy Fischer Martin. Watch the full replay here

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March 29: Amanda Hunter, Mabinty Quarshie, Lindsay Vermeye, and Betsy Fischer Martin presented findings from our new Gender on the Ballot poll, conducted by Benenson Strategy Group, that explored the issues shaping women voters and their political opinions. Watch the full replay here

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March 22: Rebecca Boggs Roberts discussed her book, Untold Power: The Fascinating Rise and Complex Legacy of First Lady Edith Wilson. First Ladies Initiative Exec. Director Anita McBride offered introductory remarks. Watch the full replay here

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March 1: Kicking-off Women’s History Month, New York Times best-selling author Dr. Elizabeth Cobbs, Melbern Glasscock Chair at Texas A&M University, discussed her new book, Fearless Women: Feminist Patriots from Abigail Adams to Beyoncé. Watch the full replay here

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February 22: Dr. Anastasia Curwood discussed her book, Shirley Chisholm: Champion of Black Feminist Power Politics, the “definitive biography” of the first Black major-party presidential candidate that interweaves Chisholm's “public image, political commitments, and private experiences." Watch the full replay here

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Nov 9: Amanda Hunter, Christine Matthews, Atima Omara, and Mabinty Quarshie broke down the 2022 midterm elections and shared their analysis on how women candidates fared up and down the ballot with Betsy Fischer Martin. Read more here and watch the full replay here

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October 26: American University alumna Dr. Bonnie Morris, CAS/BA '83, discussed her book What's the Score?: 25 Years of Teaching Women's Sports History, which offers an “insider's look at sports education but also an engaging guide to turning points in women's sports history that everyone should know.” Read more here and watch the full replay here

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October 12: NBC News Capitol Hill correspondent Ali Vitali discussed her new book Electable: Why America Hasn't Put a Woman in the White House . . . Yet, “a fearless deep dive into the 2020 election,” which investigates the “gendered double standards placed on women presidential candidates." Read more here and watch the full replay here

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September 28: AU alumna Dr. Elisabeth Griffith, CAS/Ph.D ‘84, discussed her book, Formidable: American Women and the Fight for Equality: 1920-2020, that chronicles the fight by white and Black women to achieve equality following the "incomplete" victory of the Nineteenth Amendment’s ratification. Read more here and watch the full replay here

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September 7: Lis Smith, former senior advisor in communications to presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg, discussed her new best-selling book Any Given Tuesday: A Political Love Story, “a rollicking irreverent look behind the scenes of American politics from one of the most sought-after operatives in the Democratic Party." Read more here and watch the full replay here

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April 27: Valerie Biden Owens, discussed her book Growing Up Biden: A Memoir, a compelling account of “breaking through gender barriers, the elusive nature of confidence, and navigating professional responsibilities while raising children.” Watch the full replay here

Women on Wednesdays

Stay tuned for upcoming events this Fall!

The WeLead Reader

The WeLead Reader is a curated weekend newsletter packed with news and research about women in politics.

If you like to receive the Reader each week, please subscribe below.  Please help us spread the word and share it with interested family and friends.


Upcoming Affilated Events

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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 politics.

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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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