Media Contacts

Office of Media Relations
2000 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Suite 300
Washington, D.C. 20006

Phone: 202-994-6460
Fax: 202-994-9025
E-mail: [email protected]


Inauguration Experts Available from GW

December 15, 2016

The George Washington University has expert faculty members available for interviews to discuss the history and symbolism of the U.S. presidency and presidential inaugurations, as well as the logistics and security involved with such large-scale events.

For experts on presidential policy and politics, please click here.

To schedule an interview with any of these experts, contact GW Media Relations:

CALL: 202-994-6460

EMAIL: [email protected]

GW’s Flash Studio can accommodate live, remote or taped television and radio interviews.

Presidential History

Leo Ribuffo, the Society of the Cincinnati George Washington Distinguished Professor of History, is an expert in 20th century U.S. history and has written extensively on American intellectual history and presidents including Jimmy Carter. He can discuss how personal factors such as faith and family influence presidents.

Presidential History and Obama’s Legacy

Edward Berkowitz, a professor of history and public policy and public administration, is an expert on American social policy and cultural history. He can discuss political and cultural transformations of the U.S. throughout the 20th century. Reporting from the press stand at the Capitol, he served as a commentator in the Associated Press' coverage of the 2008 inauguration. He can discuss the form and substance of previous inaugurations and what they tell us about the president's subsequent administration.

Political History and Rhetoric

Lara Brown, interim director of the GW Graduate School of Political Management, is an expert on presidential politics, elections, campaigns and political scandals. Dr. Brown’s 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. Her research interests include national elections, presidential aspirants, congressional incumbents, American political parties, the ideological underpinnings of presidential rhetoric, and political scandals. 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.

Michael Cornfield, associate professor of political management, is an expert on presidential rhetoric and political engagement. Dr. Cornfield is the director of the Global Center for Political Engagement. He is the author of two books: “Politics Moves Online: Campaigning and the Internet” and “The Civic Web: Online Politics and Democratic Values.” Cornfield previously served as a Senior Research Consultant to the Pew Internet & American Life Project.

Matthew Dallek, assistant professor of political management, is an expert on modern American political history, the use of presidential power and the conservative movement. Dr. Dallek teaches courses on political leadership, the presidency and Washington. He recently co-authored “Inside Campaigns: Elections Through the Eyes of Political Professionals,” which interviews more than 100 campaign managers and professionals. Dr. Dallek’s first book, "The Right Moment: Ronald Reagan’s First Victory and the Decisive Turning Point in American Politics," traced President Reagan’s rise to power in California in the mid-1960s. Dr. Dallek served as a speechwriter for House Minority Leader Richard A. Gephardt and Federal Communications Commission Chairman William E. Kennard.

Chief Justice and the Inauguration

Brandon Bartels, an associate professor of political science, is an expert on the U.S. Supreme Court and judicial politics. He can discuss the role of Supreme Court justices in presidential inaugurations, the public's view of the court and the relationship between the executive, legislative and judicial branches.

Inauguration on the National Mall

Lisa Benton-Short is chair of the GW Department of Geography and is an expert on public spaces and national parks in cities. She can discuss the role of the National Mall as a stage for democracy as well as the heightened security surrounding inaugurations.

Large-Scale Events and Security

Lisa Delpy Neirotti, director of the Master of Tourism Administration program and associate professor of sport management, is an expert on large-scale events, including the Super Bowl, World Cup and Olympic Games. She can discuss the logistics and economic issues for large-scale events, including staging, security and tourism.

Scott White, associate professor and director for cybersecurity at the GW College of Professional Studies, can discuss security at large-scale events such as the inauguration. He is a criminologist with an accomplished career in security. Before joining GW in June 2016, Dr. White served as professor of national security management and director of the Computing Security and Technology program at Drexel University. He was a commissioned officer with the Canadian Forces Military Intelligence Command (Department of National Defence) and worked for the Canadian Security Intelligence Service. He also served as an associate consultant in terrorism and intelligence analysis at MONAD Security Audit Systems. Additionally, he has consulted with federal, state, provincial and municipal police services in the U.S., Canada and the U.K.