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About CAWP

Faculty and Staff Bios & Contact Info

If you'd like to reach a CAWP staff member, call (848) 932-9384; when you hear the Eagleton Institute answering system, enter the extension listed below.

Media: Please contact Kathy Kleeman, senior communications officer (; (848) 932-8717) with all inquiries, and you will be referred to the appropriate CAWP source.

Debbie Walsh - full bio available here; photo available here
Director, CAWP
(848) 932-8799; e-mail: walsh @
Debbie Walsh is director of the Center for American Women and Politics (CAWP). She joined the CAWP staff in 1981. As director of the Center, she oversees CAWP's research, education and public service programs. She is frequently called upon by the media for information and comment and speaks to a variety of audiences around the country on topics related to women's political participation. First as director of CAWP's Program for Women Public Officials and now as the Center's director, Walsh has led the Center's extensive work with women officeholders and organized more than a dozen national conferences for women officials. Walsh serves on the New Jersey Advisory Commission on the Status of Women, having been appointed by Governor James McGreevey and reappointed by Governor Jon Corzine.She earned her B.A. in political science from SUNY Binghamton and her M.A. in political science from Rutgers, where she was an Eagleton Fellow.

Susan J. Carroll - full bio available here; CV available here
Senior Scholar     photo available here
(848) 932-8364; e-mail: scarroll @
Susan J. Carroll is a Professor of Political Science and Women's and Gender Studies who joined the Center in 1981. Her books include: More Women Can Run: Gender and Pathways to the State Legislature (Oxford University Press 2013, with Kira Sanbonmatsu); Women as Candidates in American Politics (Second Edition, Indiana University Press 1994); Gender and Elections: Shaping the Future of American Politics (Third Edition, Cambridge University Press 2014, with Richard L. Fox); Women and American Politics: New Questions, New Directions (Oxford University Press 2003); and The Impact of Women in Public Office (Indiana University Press 2001). Carroll also has published numerous journal articles and book chapters focusing on women candidates, voters, elected officials, and political appointees. Her Ph.D. in political science is from Indiana University.

Kelly Dittmar
(848) 932-8314; e-mail: kdittmar @ rci.rutgers.eduC.V. 
Kelly Dittmar is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at Rutgers University–Camden and Scholar at the Center for American Women and Politics at the Eagleton Institute of Politics. She has authored multiple book chapters on gender and American politics, and her book Navigating Gendered Terrain: Stereotypes and Strategy in Political Campaigns (Temple University Press, in press) will be published in January 2015. Dittmar's research focuses on gender and American political institutions, including Congress, with a particular focus on how gender informs campaigns and the impact of gender diversity among elites in policy and political decisions, priorities, and processes. Dittmar was an American Political Science Association (APSA) Congressional Fellow from 2011 to 2012. At CAWP, she manages national research projects, helps to develop and implement CAWP's research agenda, and contributes to CAWP reports, publications, and analyses. She also works with CAWP's programs for women's public leadership and has been an expert source and commentator for media outlets including MSNBC, NPR, Huffington Post, and the Washington Post. She currently serves on the editorial board for Politics and Gender. Dittmar earned her B.A. from Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, MI and her Ph.D. from Rutgers University-New Brunswick.

Yasmeen Fahmy
Administrative Assistant
(848) 932-8018; e-mail: yasmeenf @
Yasmeen Fahmy is responsible for the Eagleton and CAWP databases, for CAWP administrative tasks, and for computer troubleshooting. Previously, Yasmeen worked for the Institute for Women's Leadership as a Program Assistant. While a student at Rutgers, she worked for the Rutgers Television Network in a variety of roles and as a Video Producer for the School of Arts and Sciences Transfer Center. Fahmy received her B.A. in 2012 from Rutgers University in Economics and Geography with a concentration in Global Culture, Economics and Society.

Katherine Kleeman - full bio available here
Senior Communications Officer
(848) 932-8717; e-mail: kleeman @
Kathy Kleeman has been at the Center since 1980. She writes or edits many of the Center's proposals and publications and has led CAWP’s work with Girl Scouts. Kleeman earned her A.B. from Harvard/Radcliffe and her Ed.M. from Harvard's Graduate School of Education.

Ruth B. Mandel - full bio available here
Board of Governors Professor of Politics and Director of the Eagleton Institute of Politics
(848) 932-8770; e-mail: ruth.mandel @
Ruth B. Mandel, a founder of CAWP in 1971, was its director until January 1995. Currently she is director of the Eagleton Institute of Politics and remains associated with CAWP as senior scholar. An expert on women and politics, Mandel writes and teaches about women's political history and leadership. Her Ph.D. is from the University of Connecticut.

Gilda Morales - full bio available here
Project Manager, Information Services
(848) 932-8693; e-mail: gilda.morales @
Gilda Morales researches, collects and organizes current and historical data on women's political participation. She responds to inquiries from media, scholars, office holders and the general public. Morales earned her B.A. from Douglass College and an M.P.A. from Rutgers University.

Sue Nemeth - full bio available here
Director of Development
(848) 932-8593; e-mail: gsnemeth @
Since 1992, Nemeth has helped develop and promote CAWP's regional and national Forums for Women State Legislators, the national expansion of NEW Leadership™ residential programs for college women and Ready to Run® campaign trainings for women, and its newest national initiative Teach a Girl to Lead™. Nemeth earned a B.A. from Douglass College, an A.A. from Middlesex County College and completed the mini-MBA program at the Rutgers Center for Management Development.

Deanna-Marie Norcross
Program Coordinator

(848) 932-8566; dnorcros @
Deanna Norcross supports the New Jersey Ready to Run™ program, a bipartisan effort to recruit and train women to run for all levels of office, and is helping coordinate the program’s national expansion. Prior to joining CAWP, she was involved with the Living Wage Coalition of Western Massachusetts and worked at the Greater Western Massachusetts Salvation Army Welfare Services. Norcross received her B.A. degree from Smith College in Latin American studies and African American studies, focusing on the intersection between race and gender.

Sasha Patterson
Program Manager, NEW Leadership™

(848) 932-8809; e-mail: sashap @
Sasha Patterson came to came to work at CAWP in August of 1999. Patterson received her B.A. in political science from Northwestern University and her M.A. from Rutgers in 1995. In 2008, she received her Ph.D. in political science, focusing on women and politics and public law. She has written and presented a number of conference papers on the issue of sexual harassment.

Linda Phillips
Unit Computing Specialist

(848) 932-8533; e-mail: liphilli @
Linda Phillips is responsible for the production of various in-house publications at CAWP and Eagleton, including the CAWP fact sheets and both the Eagleton and CAWP newsletters. In addition, she is responsible for the creation and upkeep of the CAWP and Eagleton web sites and provides computer support for CAWP and the Eagleton Institute of Politics.

Kira Sanbonmatsu - C.V. available here
Professor of Political Science and CAWP Senior Scholar
(848) 932-8798; e-mail: sanbon @
Kira Sanbonmatsu is Professor of Political Science at Rutgers University and Senior Scholar at the Center for American Women and Politics (CAWP) at the Eagleton Institute of Politics. Her research interests include gender, race/ethnicity, parties, public opinion, and state politics. Her most recent book (with Susan J. Carroll) is More Women Can Run: Gender and Pathways to the State Legislatures (Oxford University Press, 2013). She is the coauthor (with Susan J. Carroll and Debbie Walsh) of the CAWP report, Poised to Run: Women's Pathways to the State Legislatures (2009). She is also the author of Where Women Run: Gender and Party in the American States (University of Michigan Press, 2006) and Democrats, Republicans, and the Politics of Women's Place (University of Michigan Press, 2002). Her articles have appeared in such journals as American Journal of Political Science, Politics & Gender, and Party Politics. She co-edits the CAWP Series in Gender and American Politics at the University of Michigan Press with Susan J. Carroll. Sanbonmatsu received her B.A. from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and her Ph.D. from Harvard University. She was previously Associate Professor of Political Science at The Ohio State University.

Jean Sinzdak
Associate Director
(848) 932-8781; e-mail: sinzdak @
Jean Sinzdak is associate director of the Center for American Women and Politics (CAWP). She oversees CAWP's Program for Women Public Officials, which aims to increase the impact of women in politics and make political women's leadership more effective through national, regional, and local events and programs for women officeholders, candidates, and campaign operatives. She is currently expanding the national network of Ready to Run® of campaign trainings for women, bipartisan effort to recruit and train women to run for all levels of office.
Sinzdak also manages CAWP's New Jersey initiatives, including the Ready to Run® New Jersey and the Bipartisan Coalition for Women's Appointments. She was a leader in the development of the Diversity Initiative of Ready to Run® New Jersey, designed to attract more women of color to the political process.
She is the project director of Teach a Girl to Lead™, a national education and awareness campaign to re-envision what public leaders look like, inspire girls and young women to follow in their footsteps, and make women's political leadership visible to America's youth. Sinzdak was instrumental in organizing The 2012 Project, a national nonpartisan campaign to recruit women to run for office in 2012, she helped coordinate project faculty, communications, and campaign strategy.

Prior to joining CAWP, she served as director of outreach and communications at the Institute for Women's Policy Research (IWPR) in Washington, DC. Earlier, she worked at the Council for Urban Economic Development, also in Washington, DC. Sinzdak received a Master of Social Work, specializing in social and economic development, from the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia and a B.A. in English from the University of Scranton.