Diana Z. O'Brien

Albert Thomas Associate Professor of Political Science

I am the Albert Thomas Associate Professor of Political Science at Rice University and affiliated faculty with the Center for the Study of Women, Gender, and Sexuality. I was also the 2020 Fulbright Visiting Professor of Social Sciences at the University of Vienna.

My research and teaching focuses on the causes and consequences of women's political representation in established democracies — including Western Europe and the United States — and across the globe. In particular, I study gender and political parties, legislative and executive branch politics, citizens' responses to women's presence in politics, and research methods.

I have published articles on these topics in journals including the American Political Science Review, American Journal of Political Science, Journal of Politics, and Politics & Gender. News coverage of my work has appeared in The Washington Post, The Guardian, Newsweek, MSNBC, Newsweek, FiveThirtyEight, Vox, Ms. and multiple international outlets.

My research has been awarded best paper prizes from the Midwest Political Science Association and the Journal of Elections, Public Opinion and Parties, and is currently supported by the National Science Foundation (SES-1851457).

I am also an active member of the broader gender and politics community. I am an associate editor at Politics & Gender, past president of the Midwest Women’s Caucus, former executive board member of the APSA Women, Gender, and Politics Research Section, and a founding member of the EGEN network.

My CV is available here.