Forkenbrock Series on Public Policy


Panel Three: Local and State Domestic Violence Politics

EW Lehman Ballroom, hotelVetro, 201 S. Dubuque Street
Monday, October 9th, 2017 2:00 PM to 3:15 PM


  • Sara Mitchell

    Sara Mitchell

    University of Iowa Department of Political Science

    Sara McLaughlin Mitchell is Professor of Political Science at the University of Iowa. She received her Ph.D. in Political Science at Michigan State University in 1997 and her B.S degree in Economics and Political Science at Iowa State University in 1991. She is author of Domestic Law Goes Global: Legal Traditions and International Courts (Cambridge University Press, 2011), Guide to the Scientific Study of International Processes(Wiley-Blackwell 2012), Conflict, War, and Peace: An Introduction to Scientific Research (CQ Press/Sage 2013),The Triumph of Democracy and the Eclipse of the West (Palgrave Macmillan 2014), and What Do We Know About Civil Wars? (Rowman Littlfield 2016), she has edited several special journal issues, and she has published more than forty journal articles and book chapters. She is the recipient of several major research awards from the Department of Defense, National Science Foundation, and the United States Agency for International Development. Her areas of expertise include international conflict, political methodology, and gender issues in academia. Professor Mitchell is co-founder of the Journeys in World Politics workshop, a mentoring workshop for junior women studying international relations. She received the Faculty Scholar Award (2007-2010), Collegiate Scholar Award (2011), and the Graduate College Outstanding Faculty Mentor Award (2012) from the University of Iowa, the Quincy Wright Distinguished Scholar Award (2015) from the International Studies Association, a distinguished alumni award from Iowa State University, and she served as President of the Peace Science Society.


  • Kristie Doser

    Kristie Doser

    Domestic Violence Intervention Program

    Kristie Fortmann-Doser was named Executive Director of DVIP in April 2004.  She has worked in the domestic violence and sexual assault fields for 31 years. She has a BA in Gender, Women’s and Sexuality Studies from the University of Iowa and is a Certified Domestic Abuse Advocate.  Kristie is currently a member of the Iowa Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Iowa Coalition Against Sexual Assault. Kristie is a former President of the Iowa Coalition Against Sexual Assault and co-authored & authored statewide Ethical Standards and training materials for domestic violence programs, sexual assault programs, and healthcare professionals.  In addition, Kristie was part of the statewide steering committee that developed Iowa’s Batterer’s Education Program. Ms. Fortmann-Doser’s recent research examines the efficacy of domestic violence shelters and the disproportionate impact of shelter closings on marginalized populations (with specific focus on African American women and women struggling with poverty that have been battered by an intimate partner). Considered an expert in this field, Kristie has presented to area, regional and national audiences concerning the nature and incidence of violence against women, domestic violence and sexual assault.  Kristie Fortmann-Doser has been vetted and provides expert testimony for civil and criminal cases in the Iowa Judicial system, having testified for more than two dozen cases.

  • Laura Hessburg

    Laura Hessburg

    Iowa Coalition Against Domestic Violence (ICADV)

    Laura Hessburg joined ICADV as Director of Public Policy in October 2014. Laura helps develop and advance ICADV state and federal legislative priorities. Laura works with victim service advocates to educate policymakers about domestic violence issues and the services provided by local programs. She also works to engage groups and organizations in supporting ICADV public policy goals. Laura brings 25 years of public policy experience to this position. Prior to joining ICADV, she worked in Washington, DC for several non-profit organizations seeking to advance low-income women’s access to health care and as a legislative assistant on Capitol Hill. Laura received her BA in history from the University of Northern Iowa. 

  • Mary Mascher

    Mary Mascher

    Iowa House of Representatives, District 86

    Mary Mascher represents House District #86, which includes the Southeast side of Iowa City and the city of Hills.  She is serving her 10th term in the Iowa House of Representatives. She is the ranking Democrat on the State Government Committee and also serves on Education, Human Services and the Budget Subcommittee on Transportation and Infrastructure.


    Mary graduated from the University of Iowa with a teaching degree in 1976 and a Master’s Degree in counseling education in 1982.  After teaching for 33 years in the Iowa City schools, she retired from teaching in June of 2009.


    Mary has been very active in her community. She helped organize the first girls’ softball league in Iowa City and served on its board of directors. Since 1988 she has sung and acted in numerous productions of the Iowa City Community Theater, and also served on their board of directors. She has been a member of the Iowa City Parks and Recreation Commission, the Iowa City Riverfront Commission, and was president of the Iowa City Education Association. From 1992-1997 Mary served on the State Sesquicentennial Commission.


    In 1994, Mary was elected to the Iowa House where she has been an advocate for women, children and families. Mary serves on the State Reading Recovery Advisory Board and Executive Committee. Mary was appointed by Governor Vilsack to the State Council on Continuous Improvement of Educational Excellence. Mary received the Iowa Counseling Associations’ Legislator of the Year Award in 1996. In 1999 she was recognized as the National Reading Recovery Teacher Leader Friend of Education and in 1998 she was recognized by the Iowa Counseling Association as Legislator of the Year.  In 2003 Mary was recognized by the Girl Scouts of Mississippi Valley for their Growing Strong Award and in 2010 The Corridor Business Journal recognized Mary with their Women of Influence Award. In 2011 Heritage Agency on Aging recognized Mary as their Outstanding Elected Public Official and in 2012 Iowa Physicians’ Assistant Society recognized Mary with their Outstanding Leadership Award.  In 2010 Iowa Pride Network recognized Mary for her work with the Roger Wendt Education Award.

  • Linda Stewart Kroon

    Linda Stewart Kroon

    Women's Resource and Action Center (WRAC)

    Linda was appointed as Director of WRAC in April 2011. She is responsible for overall program development, direction and evaluation, personnel and budget supervision, and external relations for the Center.  She is a Certified Sexual Abuse Advocate and provides confidential advocacy and assistance to individuals experiencing discrimination, harassment and interpersonal violence. Linda holds national certifications as a diversity trainer and bystander intervention specialist, and served as Campus Bystander Education Coordinator for The University of Iowa from 2009 to 2013 under a project funded by the US Department of Justice’s Office of Violence Against Women, which launched the UI's Violence Prevention Education effort. She is an officer and member of the League of Women Voters of Johnson County, and an Adjunct Instructor in the UI Department of Gender, Women's and Sexuality Studies. Linda is active as a professional development trainer and consultant on issues related to gender and sexual violence, diversity, and social change.