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.

To schedule an interview with any of these experts, contact GW Media Relations at [email protected] or call 202-994-6460.Healthcare

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.

Business/Market Implications

William Handorf is a professor of finance. He is an expert on financial markets and corporate financial management. He can discuss the new administration’s approach to business and the market implications.

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.Immigration

Alberto M. Benítez is a professor of clinical law and director of the Immigration Clinic. He can discuss immigration law and previously was a staff attorney at the Chicago Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law and the Legal Assistance Foundation of Chicago.

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.

Refugees and International RelationsAmbassador 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.

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 the GW School of 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

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.


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).Syria:

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

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.

Race Relations / Minorities

Calvin Warren is an assistant professor of American studies. He is an expert on African-American history and philosophy, black nihilism and ethics. He can comment on a variety of issues, including race relations and anti-black violence.

Women’s and Gender StudiesRachel 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, SociologyIvy 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 CorrectnessMichael 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.

Inauguration and Presidential TransitionsSpencer A. Overton is a professor of law and an expert on presidential transitions, campaign finance, 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.