Presidential Policy Experts

The George Washington University has leading faculty members available for interviews exploring the policy and cultural implications of the U.S. presidential transition.

For experts on politics and the presidency, 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.


Sara Rosenbaum is the Harold and Jane Hirsh Professor of Health Law and Policy. She has worked on expanding access to healthcare for 40 years and can discuss national health reform, the Affordable Care Act, Medicaid, Medicare and other health policy issues.

Elizabeth Rigby, an associate professor of public policy and public administration, is an expert in health and social policy. She has written extensively on the politics of the Affordable Care Act and other federal and state programs that impact low-income families. Dr. Rigby can comment on efforts to repeal “Obamacare” and other social programs.

Ellen Kurtzman is associate ‎professor in the School of Nursing where she studies the impact of state and federal policy on health care quality and the role of the health care workforce on achieving higher value care.  She can discuss health care quality, patient outcomes, performance measurement and transparency, health reform, performance-based payment models, scope of practice and other health policy issues.

Mary Jean Schumann is associate professor of nursing at GW. Dr. Schumann is an expert on the effects of health economics, healthcare financing and reimbursement, federal legislative and regulatory policy and health care delivery systems. She is also available to speak on the impact of various provisions of the Affordable Care Act and other health related policy issues.

Economic Policy

Joann Weiner is the director of the master’s program in Applied Economics. She is an expert in public economics, tax policy and applied microeconomics. Professor Weiner previously served as a senior economist in the Office of Tax Policy at the U.S. Treasury Department. Before starting graduate school, she worked at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, Lehman Brothers and Risk Sciences Group.


Daniel Martinez is an assistant professor of sociology and associate director of the Cisneros Hispanic Leadership Institute. He can discuss unauthorized migration and has done extensive field research interviewing recently deported migrants about their experience crossing the U.S.-Mexico border.

Cynthia McClintock is a professor of political science and international affairs. She can discuss Mexico and Latin American politics, as well as U.S. policy toward Latin America.

Supreme Court Nominations

Brandon Bartels is an associate professor of political science. He is an expert on American politics and judicial politics, as well as the U.S. Supreme Court. Dr. Bartels’ work focuses on the foundations of Supreme Court legitimacy in the mass public; Supreme Court decision-making; and the sources and consequences of polarization on the Supreme Court over time.

Additional experts are available at GW Law.


Sarah Binder is a professor of political science. She is an expert on Congress, the legislative process and political parties. She is the author or co-author of four books on Congress, examining partisanship, the filibuster, legislative gridlock and the role of Congress in the shaping of the federal judiciary.

Foreign Policy

Ambassador Reuben E. Brigety II is the dean of the Elliott School of International Affairs. He can discuss U.S. foreign policy, the international response to refugees, human rights and humanitarian assistance. Ambassador Brigety most recently served as the appointed representative of the United States of America to the African Union.

Henry Nau is a professor of political science and international affairs. He can discuss U.S. foreign policy and international politics. From January 1981 to July 1983, Professor Nau served on President Reagan's National Security Council as senior staff member responsible for international economic affairs.

Amitai Etzioni is a University Professor and professor of international affairs and director of the Institute for Communitarian Policy Studies. He served in the Carter administration as a senior advisor. Dr. Etzioni can discuss topics relating to international affairs, especially China and the Middle East.


Henry Hale is a professor of political science and international affairs. He can discuss Russia, political regimes and the politics of post-Soviet countries. Professor Hale is co-director of the Program on New Approaches to Research and Security in Eurasia (PONARS Eurasia).


Marc Lynch is a professor of political science and international affairs and director of the Project on Middle East Political Science. He is an expert on Syria and Middle East politics, media and public opinion, as well as Islamist movements.

ISIS and Middle East Policy:

Nathan Brown is a professor of political science and international affairs and director of the Institute for Middle East Studies. He can discuss ISIS and Middle East policy, as well as democratization and rule of law in the Arab world.

Education Policy

Michael Feuer is dean of the Graduate School of Education and Human Development. He is an expert on education policy, research, testing and assessment, international comparisons of achievement, and the economics of education. He can comment on the qualifications and contributions of previous Department of Education Secretaries and how Ms. DeVos’ prior work and involvement in education may play a role in shaping the department's policies. Dean Feuer is the author of "The Rising Price of Objectivity: Philanthropy, Government and Education Research," published by Harvard Education Press.

Maria Voles Ferguson is the executive director of the Center on Education Policy at GW, which studies education policy and practice. She can discuss the impact of education policy and education research for policymakers, educators and the public. You can read her recent column on the DeVos transition at Kappan Online.

Sharon Lynch is a professor of curriculum and teaching methods in the Graduate School of Education and Human Development. Dr. Lynch can discuss the role of charter schools, particularly inclusive STEM charter schools (with the belief that STEM is for all) and schools focused on career and technical education in the American school system, STEM education, STEM in relation to career/college readiness, preparation of high school students for technical jobs and equity in educational opportunity.

Women’s and Gender Studies

Rachel Riedner is an associate professor of writing and in the women's, gender and sexuality studies program and is the executive director of the University Writing Program. She can comment on women's role in politics and how activism and teaching can challenge representations of women.

Mood of the Nation, Sociology

Ivy Ken is an associate professor of sociology. Professor Ken can discuss issues of identity, race, class and gender in connection with the mood of the nation and reactions to the 2016 presidential election. Dr. Ken is the author of “Digesting Race, Class and Gender,” a book that focuses on how the ways that race organizes our lives relate to the ways gender and class organize our lives and how these elements conflict or work together.

Civility, Rhetoric and Political Correctness

Michael Cornfield is an associate professor of political management and director of the Global Center for Political Engagement. He is an expert on presidential rhetoric, advocacy training, online politics and democratic values.

Lori Brainard, an associate professor of public policy and public administration, focuses on how ordinary people, grassroots advocacy organizations and government agencies use the internet to activate and mobilize for change. She can discuss ways social media and other communication channels can hold elected leaders accountable.

Inauguration and Presidential Transitions

Spencer A. Overton is a professor of law and an expert on presidential transitions, voting rights, race and the law. During Professor Overton’s time in the Obama campaign, transition and administration (2007–2010), he was a key leader on the administration’s landmark efforts to curb special interests, enhance transparency and increase citizen participation.

Lara Brown is the interim director of the GW Graduate School of Political Management. She is an expert on presidential politics, 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. Dr. Brown also served in President William J. Clinton’s administration at the U.S. Department of Education.

Presidential Power, Checks and Balances, History

Matthew Dallek is an assistant professor of political management. He 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.

Press Access and Freedoms

Frank Sesno is director of the School of Media and Public Affairs. He is an award-winning journalist and an expert on media and politics and media ethics, among other topics. Sesno spent 21 years at CNN where he served as White House correspondent, anchor and Washington bureau chief.

Nikki Usher Layser is an assistant professor of media and public affairs. She can discuss the news industry, press freedoms, social media (including partisanship issues), digital journalism, the future of journalism and media coverage of politics, among other issues. Dr. Usher has commented extensively on the "fake news" discussion.

Business Ethics

Steven L. Schooner is the Nash & Cibinic Professor of Government Procurement Law. He is leading a national conversation about Donald Trump's potential conflicts of interest as president. His work has also been cited in several letters from members of Congress who are now probing into this issue. He can discuss government contracts and government procurement.

Kirsten Martin, an assistant professor of strategic management and public policy, is an expert on business ethics, especially in relation to law and public policy. She is the author of “Business Ethics: A managerial approach.” Dr. Martin can discuss privacy concerns related to “big data” and other ethical issues.