Diana Z. O'Brien

Bela Kornitzer Distinguished Professor of Political Science

I am the  Bela Kornitzer Distinguished Professor in the Department of Political Science at Washington University in St. Louis.

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

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.  

This research has been awarded the American Political Science Association's Lawrence Longley Award, the Southern Political Science Association's Best Overall Paper Award and Marian Irish Award for best women and politics paper, the Midwest Political Science Association's Sophonisba Breckinridge Award for the best paper on the topic of women and politics, the Journal of Elections, Public Opinion and Parties best article award, and the GESIS Klingemann Prize.  My work on women and security portfolios is currently supported by the National Science Foundation (SES-1851457). I was also awarded a Fulbright Fellowship in 2019. 

I am an active member of the broader gender and politics community. I am the founding editor of the Cambridge University Press Elements in Gender and Politics Series and a founding member of the EGEN network. I have served as an associate editor at Politics & Gender, president of the Midwest Women’s Caucus, and executive board member of the APSA Women, Gender, and Politics Research Section. 

My CV is available here