Lara Brown

Dr. Lara Brown

Interim Director
Faculty: Full-Time
Address: 805 21st Street NW
Suite 401
Washington, District Of Columbia 20052

Areas of Expertise

Presidential politics and elections, campaigns, political scandals


Lara Brown is the Graduate School of Political Management’s Interim Director and an associate professor.

 As interim director, Dr. Brown sets the overarching strategy for the school, fosters new partnerships with donors and research collaborators, set standards for our master’s degree and certificate components for in person and online political management programs, develops unique applied politics curriculum, and leads adjunct hiring efforts.

 A distinguished writer, Dr. Brown’s most recent book Jockeying for the American Presidency: The Political Opportunism of Aspirants is the first systematic study of presidential aspirants from the 1790s to the present. She is a regular contributor to U.S. News & World Report’s Thomas Jefferson Street blog, and is quoted regularly in leading media outlets nationwide.

 Her research interests include national elections, presidential aspirants, congressional incumbents, American political parties, the ideological underpinnings of presidential rhetoric, and political scandals. She serves on the Board of Directors of The New Agenda, a “pro-woman” organization devoted to empowering women and improving the lives of girls.

 Dr. Brown previously served as an assistant professor in the Department of Political Science at Villanova University. Prior to returning to academia, she worked as an education policy and public affairs consultant. Dr. Brown also served in President William J. Clinton’s administration at the U.S. Department of Education.

 Dr. Brown earned her B.A., M.A., and Ph. D. in political science from the University of California, Los Angeles. She also earned a M.A. in American politics and public policy from the University of Arizona.

Follow her on Twitter @LaraMBrownPhD


Ph.D., University of California, Los Angeles
M.A., University of California, Los Angeles
M.A., University of Arizona
B.A., University of California, Los Angeles



Jockeying for the American Presidency: The Political Opportunism of Aspirants (Cambria Press, 2010)

The Presidential Leadership Dilemma: Between the Constitution and a Political PartyJulia R. Azari, Lara M. Brown, and Zim G. Nwokora, eds., (SUNY Press, 2013)


Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles

“Around Closed Doors and Through Open Windows: A theory of Aspirant Opportunism, 1796-2004,” Congress and the Presidency (2009).

“The Greats and The Great Debate: President William J. Clinton’s Use of Presidential Exemplars,” Presidential Studies Quarterly (2007).

“Revisiting the Character of Congress: Scandals in the U.S. House of Representatives, 1966-2002,” Journal of Political Marketing (2006), co-published in Wayne Steger, J. Mark Wrighton, and Sean Q. Kelly, Campaigns and Political Marketing (Haworth, 2006).


Chapters in Books and Other Writings

“The Department of Treasury,” in Michael A. Genovese and Lori Cox Han, eds., Encyclopedia of American Government and Civics (Facts on File Publishers, 2008).

“A High Speed Chase: Presidential Aspirants and the Nomination Process” in James P. Pfiffner and Roger H. Davidson, Understanding the Presidency, rev. ed. (Pearson, 2012).

“Inside Parties: The Politics of Earning a Presidential Nomination,” in Meena Bose, ed. From Votes to Victory: Winning and Governing the White House in the 21st Century (Texas A&M, 2011).

“Playing for History: The Reelection Leadership Choices of Presidents William J. Clinton and George W. Bush,” in Azari, Brown, and Nwokora, eds., The Presidential Leadership Dilemma.

“Reactionary Ideologues and Uneasy Partisans: Bush and Party Realignment,” in Robert Maranto, Tom Lansford, and Jeremy Johnson, eds., Judging Bush (Stanford, 2009).

“The Presidency and the Nominating Process: Aspirants, Parties and Selection,” in Michael Nelson, The Presidency and the Political System (2013)

“Spending More Time with My Family: Media Coverage and Forced Incumbent Departures from the House of Representatives,” (with G. J. Gulati) in Alison Dagnes and Mark Sachleben, Scandal! A Scholarly Appraisal (Bloomsbury/Continuum, forthcoming 2014).