Women in Politics 2014: Historic & Current Perspectives

Old Capitol Museum Senate Chambers
Friday, April 18th, 2014 8:15 AM to 5:00 PM
Women in Politics 2014

Join us for a day-long symposium that will examine why women do or do not run for political office, how they govern once elected, and documentation of the history of women in politics.  The symposium will wrap up with a policy discussion and action steps.  Click on the tabs below for more information about agenda, speakers, etc. 



This symposium is presented by the Public Policy Center in partnership with and in honor of the Iowa Women's Archives.


Friday, April 18th, 2014
Session Details Speakers
8:15 AM Registration
8:45 AM Welcome
  1. Hannah Walsh
9:00 AM Pipeline / Running for Office
  1. Kira Sanbonmatsu
  2. Jennifer Lawless
  3. Maria Bribriesco
  4. Amy Sinclair
  1. Renee Schulte (Moderator)
10:30 AM Morning Break
10:45 AM Documenting the History of Women in Politics
  1. Landon Storrs
  2. Jan Laue
  3. Jean Lloyd-Jones
  1. Kären Mason (Moderator)
11:45 AM Lunch (on your own)
1:00 PM Keynote Address
  1. Senator Amy Klobuchar
2:00 PM When in Office, How do Women Govern?
  1. Kathryn Pearson
  2. Julie Gallagher
  3. Nancy Boettger
  4. Sally Stutsman
  1. Tracy Osborn (Moderator)
3:30 PM Afternoon Break
3:45 PM Policy Discussion - Action Steps for the Future
  1. Cindy Simon Rosenthal
  2. Katherine Valde
  3. Sheila McGuire-Riggs
  4. Mary Mascher
  1. Dianne Bystrom, PhD (Moderator)
  • Nancy Boettger

    Iowa Senate District 9

    Nancy Boettger was first elected in 1994 and is currently serving her fifth and final term in the Iowa Senate.  In her 18 years of service she has served on 15 committees, including Education, Human Resources, and the International Relations committee. She has served as both an assistant majority leader and as an assistant minority leader. 


    Her leadership role as chair of the International Relations committee has lent her expertise to international organizations such as serving as a director for the U.S. Center for Citizen Diplomacy, which serves many purposes including recognition of the outstanding achievements of the many organizations active in citizen diplomacy, development of resources which will enable the establishment of best practices in citizen diplomacy and the recruitment of persons to serve as U.S. citizen ambassadors to the world.


    When she is not serving her constituents in Des Moines, Senator Boettger is very active in her hometown and communities near Harlan. She is a member of P.E.O., National Foundation for Women Legislators and Harlan First Baptist Church, and has served on the boards of the U.S. Center for Citizen Diplomacy, American Baptist Homes of the Midwest Board of Directors, Harlan Community Library Board, ISU Extension Dean's Advisory Board, Shelby County Foundation for Education, Southwest Iowa Health Educators, Iowa Society for Health Education and Training,  Farm Bureau,  Pork Producers, People Who Care, Harlan Review Club, Iowa Council of International Understanding, and Iowa Sister States/Taiwan ROC.  She currently sits on the Midwest Higher Education Commission, Education Commission of the States, and the Iowa Prayer Breakfast Committee. 


    Senator Boettger graduated from Evanston Township High School, Evanston, Illinois before receiving a B.S. in sociology from Iowa State University in 1965 and B.A. in education from Buena Vista College in 1982.  With this background she has worked as a special education teacher, middle school teacher, and Director of Education and Resource Development for Myrtue Memorial Hospital.  She and her husband Dave have four children and 12 grandchildren, and operate a farm in Harlan.


  • Maria Bribriesco

    Candidate for Iowa State Senate District 47

    Maria Bribriesco is an attorney licensed to practice law in Iowa.  She has a B.A. in criminal justice (Magna Cum Laude) from St. Edwards University, Austin, TX and a J.D. from the University of Iowa, College of Law.  Maria worked over 27 years for the United States Army as a civilian attorney-advisor at the Rock Island Arsenal (Rock Island, IL) and the last six years of government service, she was Chief of the TACOM-Rock Island Legal Group, a managerial/supervisory position.


    Maria retired in July 2011, and stays busy gardening, participating in Zumba, softball, volleyball, & kickball, visiting her grand kids in St. Louis and her new grand-baby (three months old) in Bettendorf, and traveling.  In March 2012, Maria said "Yes" to public service and agreed to run for the Iowa House of Representatives.  She received 45% of the vote in a "red" district against a two term Republican incumbent.  Maria is currently running for the Iowa Senate.


    Maria is married, has three sons and four grandchildren. 

  • Julie Gallagher

    Associate Professor of History, Penn State Brandywine

    Since joining the faculty at Penn State Brandywine in 2007, Julie Gallagher has taught courses on the history of the United States, specializing in twentieth-century political history, women’s and gender history, U.S. history in the global context, and African American history.  She was recently named the Rosenberg endowed professor for career development in leadership and innovation.

    Dr. Gallagher has presented her research at a number of conferences nationally and internationally including in Uganda, Korea, Spain, and Brazil. She was recognized for her teaching in 2006 in the Excellence in Ohio Education issue of Ohio Magazine while she was on the faculty at Antioch College. Outside of campus, she is also a human rights activist and serves as a legislative coordinator for Amnesty International in Pennsylvania and has monitored elections for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Armenia and Belarus.

    Research Interests:

    Dr. Gallagher’s current research project examines the ways local and national grassroots activists from various countries seized or created opportunities for transnational human rights activism from the early 1970s through the present.

  • Senator Amy Klobuchar

    U.S. Senator, State of Minnesota

    In 2006, Amy Klobuchar became the first woman elected to represent the State of Minnesota in the United States Senate. Throughout her public service, Senator Klobuchar has built a reputation of putting partisanship aside to help strengthen the economy and support families, workers and businesses. She was a member of the Farm Bill Conference Committee, which was responsible for crafting the final Farm Bill that was recently signed into law, and was also part of a bipartisan group of 14 senators that worked to help find solutions to end the shutdown last year.

    A former prosecutor, Senator Klobuchar worked to pass the most significant consumer product safety legislation in a generation, and she took on the cell phone companies for more consumer-friendly policies. As Senate Chair of the Joint Economic Committee and a member of the President’s Export Council and the Senate Commerce Committee, Senator Klobuchar has authored legislation to help small businesses tap into new markets abroad and championed an amendment aimed at boosting funds for STEM education for American students. Senator Klobuchar also chairs the Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer rights, where she has worked to advance policies that protect consumers from anti-competitive behavior and make sure businesses are able to compete on a level playing field.

    Her work has gained national recognition. The American Prospect named her a “woman to watch,” and Working Mother Magazine named her as "Best in Congress” for her efforts on behalf of working families. She received an award from the Service Women's Action Network (SWAN) for her work to fight sexual assault in the military, and the Disabled American Veterans has also honored her work to improve the lives of America’s veterans.


    Senator Klobuchar is currently leading a national effort to position more female Democratic candidates for victory in 2014.  To read more about her efforts, click here.

  • Jan Laue

    Former Secretary-Treasurer, Iowa Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO

     Jan Laue was elected President of the Iowa Alliance for Retired Americans in July 2012.  She retired as Secretary-Treasurer of the Iowa Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO, in January of 2012.  Laue was elected IFL Secretary-Treasurer in 2008, and served as IFL Executive Vice President from 1993-2008.  Laue is a member of BCTGM Local 48G.

    Laue has been a member of BCTGM since 1976, when she first started working at the Sara Lee Bakery in New Hampton, Iowa, and joined what was then BCT Local 417.  While there, she was elected Steward, and then Business Agent.  Laue has a B.A. from UNI and in 1992, was a Graduate Assistant at the University of Iowa Labor Center. She was an IFL Auditor from 1988-1990, and an IFL Executive Board Member at Large from 1990-1993.  She has two sons, two daughters, ten grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

    In addition to the Iowa Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO Executive Council and the Iowa Alliance for Retired Americans, Laue’s current activities include:

    • Executive Committee of United Way of Central Iowa and UWCI Policy Committee
    • Iowa Policy Project Board
    • University of Iowa Labor Center Advisory Committee
    • State Board of Directors-Older Iowans Legislature
    • Volunteer Tutor, Drake Adult Literacy Program
    • Vice President, Plumwood Terrace Homeowners Association


  • Jennifer Lawless

    American University, Women and Politics Institute

    Jennifer L. Lawless received her Ph.D. in political science from Stanford University in 2003 and her B.A. in political science from Union College in 1997. She is a Professor Government at American University, where she is also the Director of the Women & Politics Institute.  Her teaching and research focus on gender politics, electoral politics, and public opinion. She has published numerous articles in academic journals, such as the American Political Science Revieew, American Journal of Political Science, Journal of Politics, and Politics & Gender. She is also the author of Becoming a Candidate: Political Ambition and the Decision to Run for Office (Cambridge University Press, 2012) and the lead author of It Still Takes A Candidate: Why Women Don't Run for Office (Cambridge University Press, 2010).

    A nationally recognized speaker on electoral politics, Dr. Lawless’s analysis and commentary have been quoted in outlets including the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, USA Today, CNN.com, MSNBC.com, FOXNews.com, the CBS Evening News, ABC World News Tonight, the Today Show, and the Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer.

    In 2006, she sought the Democratic nomination for the U.S. House of Representatives in Rhode Island’s second congressional district. Although she lost the race, she is very active in politics.  She served on the national board of Emerge America from 2009 – 2011 and is currently an advisory board member.

  • Jean Lloyd-Jones

    Co-Chair, 50/50 in 2020

    Jean Hall Lloyd-Jones was born in Washington D.C. on October 14th, 1929. She attended the University of New Mexico and Northwestern University, earning her B.S. degree in 1951. She received a M.A. degree in History of U.S. Foreign Policy from the University of Iowa in 1971, and another M.A. degree in Conflict Resolution from Antioch University in 1997. She has served in both the Iowa House of Representatives and the Iowa Senate, and as President of the League of Women Voters of Iowa. She was inducted into the Iowa Women's Hall of Fame in 2003.  Jean’s husband, Richard Lloyd-Jones, is a retired University of Iowa Professor of English. Jean and Richard have four children, four grandchildren and one great-grandchild.


    President, League of Women Voters of Iowa 1971-1975

    Iowa House of Representatives 1979-1986

    Iowa State Senator 1987-1994

  • Mary Mascher

    Iowa House of Representatives, District 86

    Mary Mascher is serving her 10th term in the Iowa House of Representatives.  She is an Assistant Minority Leader.  She also serves on the Administration and Rules, Education, Labor, International Relations and State Government committees.


    Mary graduated from the University of Iowa in 1972 and, has since earned a master’s degree in counseling education from the University of Iowa and worked as a counselor at Roosevelt Elementary. After teaching for 33 years in the Iowa City schools, Mary retired 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.  She was appointed by Governor Vilsack to the State Council on Continuous Improvement of Educational Excellence.


    Mary has received numerous honors/awards for her service and leadership.  A few are listed below:

    • 1996 – Iowa Counseling Associations’ Legislator of the Year Award
    • 1999 - National Reading Recovery Teacher Leader Friend of Education
    • 2003 – Girl Scouts of Mississippi Valley – Growing Strong Award
    • 2010 – Corridor Business Journal – Women of Influence Award
    • 2011 – Heritage Agency on Aging – Outstanding Elected Public Official
    • 2012 – Iowa Physician’s Assistant Society – Outstanding Leadership Award
    • 2013 – Iowa Pride Network – Roger Wendt Education Award

  • Sheila McGuire-Riggs

    Women Winning

    Political Bio

    McGuire-Riggs was the 1994 Democratic nominee for Iowa’s 5th Congressional District.  As an EMILY’s List endorsed candidate, she won the three-way primary but fell short in the general.  In 1996, McGuire-Riggs was the Finance Chair for Senator Tom Harkin’s successful re-election campaign.  In the 2002 cycle, Senator Harkin and Governor Vilsack tapped Sheila to Chair the Iowa Democratic Party.  Together, they made history ~ it was the first time Iowa had ever re-elected a Democratic Senator and a Democratic Governor.  And it was in this cycle, under McGuire-Riggs’ leadership, that the Voter Activation Network known now as the VAN was created by the Iowa Democratic Party.   McGuire-Riggs is the current State PAC Chair and a member of the Board of Directors of WomenWinning in Minnesota.


    Professional Bio

    Expansive innovator is the term most associated with Sheila M. Riggs, a healthcare executive with two doctorates in health care and over 20 years of cross-functional industry experience.  Dr. Riggs has earned the trust and respect of healthcare and policy colleagues by staying fastidiously grounded in the evidence and the needs of the customer.  From her analytic training at Harvard to her executive and board of director positions in healthcare across the Midwest, she has tapped her vast network consisting of experts from AHRQ, IHI, CDC, NIH, employer coalitions, and academia to bring the latest innovations to the health care economy.  Dr. Riggs created the informatics division of the Iowa’s largest health insurer leading the measurement and analytic competencies for the Six Sigma Process Improvement Teams which, for example, decreased administrative costs from $10.88 PMPM TO $9.95 PMPM.  After serving six years on the Board of Directors of Delta Dental of Minnesota, Dr. Riggs was asked by her colleagues to become its President and CEO.  She had a strong track record of bringing key constituents together to achieve business results that exceeded expectations, including increasing the number of subscribers each year by over 100,000 members to the highest number in company’s history and exceeding the 4% revenue growth forecasts each year of her tenure.  After Wellpoint’s successful acquisition of the for-profit  subsidiary within the holding company at Delta Dental, Dr. Riggs’ current focus is workforce preparation as Department Chair and tenured educator within the Academic Health Center at the University of Minnesota.  

  • Kathryn Pearson

    University of Minnesota

    Kathryn Pearson is associate professor of political science at the University of Minnesota.  She received her Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley.  Pearson specializes in American politics; her research and teaching focus on the United States Congress, women and politics, congressional elections, and political parties. Her research has recently appeared in The Journal of Politics, Perspectives on Politics, Legislative Studies Quarterly, Politics & Gender, Political Research Quarterly, and in several edited volumes.  Her forthcoming book is titled Party Discipline in the House of Representatives.  Pearson is a recipient of the Morse Alumni Award for Outstanding Contributions to Undergraduate Education.  Pearson serves on the board of womenwinning.  In 2002-2003, Pearson was a Research Fellow at The Brookings Institution, and from 1993 to 1998 she worked on Capitol Hill as a Legislative Assistant for two congresswomen.

  • Cindy Simon Rosenthal

    Mayor of Norman, OK and Director & Curator, Carl Albert Congressional Research and Studies Center at the University of Oklahoma

    Cindy Simon Rosenthal combines her professional academic interests with a commitment to public service.  She serves as director and curator of the Carl Albert Congressional Research and Studies Center at the University of Oklahoma and as professor of political science.  Professor Rosenthal has written on public leadership and women in politics.

    She was reelected to a third term as Norman’s mayor in April 2013 and is its first popularly elected woman mayor.  As mayor she represents the city in metropolitan area and statewide efforts.  She served  as vice president and executive board member of the Oklahoma Municipal League, a member of the steering committee of the Regional Transit Dialogue, and as representative to the Association of Central Oklahoma Governments.  Mayor Rosenthal has championed environmental awareness and energy efficiency throughout the city, spearheaded Norman’s inclusive community initiative, and been an advocate for the arts and culture in downtown Norman. She began her public service as the council member from Ward 4.

    Mayor Rosenthal won the 2009 Distinguished Public Service Award, which is given annually by the Oklahoma Chapter of the American Society for Public Administration to a public servant whose career exhibits the highest standards of excellence, dedication and accomplishment. In 2010, she was honored by the Journal Record as Woman of the Year and has twice been recognized by the Journal Record as one of 50 women making a difference in Oklahoma.

    Her professional accomplishments include co-authorship with Regents’ Professor Ron Peters of the book, Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the New American Politics (Oxford University Press, 2010.)  Professor Rosenthal is the editor of Women Transforming Congress (University of Oklahoma Press, 2002) and author of When Women Lead (Oxford University Press, 1998).  Her work also has appeared in Political Research Quarterly, Policy Studies Journal, Legislative Studies Quarterly, Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, and Politics & Gender. In 1996, the Women and Politics Section of the American Political Science Association recognized her dissertation as the best in the field of women in politics, and she also won the Sophonisba Breckinridge Award, given for the best paper on women and politics at the Midwest Political Science Association annual meeting.


     In 2002, she was named the Carlisle Mabrey and Lurleen Mabrey Presidential Professor at OU, and the Oklahoma Political Science Association recognized her as the Outstanding Oklahoma Political Scientist of the Year in 2000.

  • Kira Sanbonmatsu

    Rutgers University

    Kira Sanbonmatsu is Professor of Political Science and Senior Scholar at the Center for American Women and Politics (CAWP) at the Eagleton Institute of Politics, Rutgers University. Her new book (with Susan J. Carroll) is called More Women Can Run: Gender and Pathways to the State Legislatures (Oxford University Press, 2013). 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 research on gender stereotypes, race/ethnicity, and party politics have appeared in such journals as Political Research Quarterly, American Journal of Political Science, and Politics & Gender. 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.

  • Amy Sinclair

    Iowa Senate District 14

    Amy Sinclair served two terms on the Wayne County Board of Supervisors. She and her husband Boyd, an elementary teacher at Wayne Community Schools, have three sons and farm near Allerton.


    Education is a top priority for Sinclair. After spending nearly the last two decades in southern Iowa, Sinclair witnessed high unemployment rates, and the struggles facing small business owners and the agricultural community.


    Sinclair has held numerous leadership positions on boards and committees such as the Iowa County Engineers, Service Bureau, South Iowa Area Crime Commission, Community Health Centers of Southern Iowa, Chariton Valley Transportation Planning Affiliate, South Central Iowa Community Action Agency and Wayne County Farm Bureau.

  • Landon Storrs

    University of Iowa History Department

    Landon Storrs specializes in twentieth-century U.S. social and political history, particularly in the history of women, social movements, and public policy. Her first book, Civilizing Capitalism: The National Consumers' League, Women's Activism, and Labor Standards in the New Deal Era (University of North Carolina Press, 2000) analyzed female reformers' campaign for state and national wage-hour laws during the Great Depression, when industry migration toward low-cost labor in the U.S. South was driving down wages nationwide. In 2012, Princeton University Press published Storrs’s second book, The Second Red Scare and the Unmaking of the New Deal Left. Based on newly accessible government records and private papers, the book demonstrates that the post-WWII Red scare stunted American public policy by prohibiting discussion of capitalism's tendency to widen social inequalities.  The Second Red Scare also reveals the antifeminism of the Old Right, showing how conservatives exploited popular hostility to female government officials in order to discredit left-liberal policies.  Storrs has published articles in numerous anthologies and journals, including the Journal of American History, Feminist Studies, the Journal of Women’s History, and the Journal of Policy History.

    Storrs came to the University of Iowa in Fall 2012 from the University of Houston. She earned her Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1994 and her B.A. from Yale in 1983.

  • Sally Stutsman

    Iowa House District 77

    Sally Stutsman is serving her first term as a State Representative, after fifth term on the Johnson County Board of Supervisors. She has served as chair of the Board, a rotating role for elected officials, several times.


    Sally worked for the Iowa Department of Human Services, as an independent adoption investigator, executive director of 4Cs Child Resource and Referral and later as the coordinator of the Volunteer Action Center. She made the leap from serving individuals and families into politics, and ran successfully for Johnson County Supervisor in November 1994.


    An active community member, Sally has helped organize numerous activities and serves on the board of directors for the community organizations including Oaknoll Retirement Center, Elder Services, Johnson County Task Force on Aging, Johnson County Housing Trust Fund, Johnson County Empowerment, MECCA, Johnson County Case Management Services and MH/DS Planning Council. She is also one of 10 members of the Regional Economic Development Summit to explore regional economic development in the Cedar Rapids / Iowa City region; represents Johnson County on the DECAT Board and serves as chair of the ECICOG Transportation Policy and Technical Advisory Committee.


    Appointed by Governor Terry Branstad, Sally serves on the Department of Human Services Council. First appointed in 2009, she was reappointed in 2011. Her current term will end in 2017. Sally also serves as a citizen representative for Iowa State University CARET (Council for Agriculture Research Extension and serves on the planning committee for the North Central-North East CARET Joint Summer Session.


    Sally is a member of Old Capitol Kiwanis, Altrusa, PEO, Eastern Star and the Sharon Center United Methodist Church.

  • Katherine Valde

    University of Iowa, NEW Leadership Program Alumna, President, University of Iowa Student Body Government

    Katherine Valde is a senior at the University of Iowa studying political science, history, and sustainability. She is currently the President of the University of Iowa Student Government, and is the first woman to serve in this role in a decade. She is an alumna of Iowa N.E.W. Leadership, a week-long institute designed to empower women across the political spectrum and increase participation of underrepresented groups in public leadership.


    Katherine has been involved in local and state politics since 2010 and was president of the University of Iowa Democrats during the 2012 election cycle. For the past three years, she has served as treasurer on the board for the local chapter of the League of Women Voters. In 2014, Katherine was named a “Rising Star” by the Democratic Activist Women’s Network.   

  • Hannah Walsh

    Student Regent, Iowa Board of Regents

    Hannah Walsh, a University of Iowa student from Spirit Lake, was appointed as the student member of the Board of Regents on November 30, 2012.


    Regent Walsh is a junior at the UI working toward a degree in Political Science with minors in Communications Studies and American Sign Language.  She has recorded many accomplishments in her young college career at the UI.


    She has served as a member of the UI Student Government, which represents more than 21,000 undergraduate students, and co-chair of the UI Governmental Relations Committee.  In her first year at the UI, she served as a Freshman Senator, representing 4,500 freshman students, and was one of 30 freshman students selected to participate in President Mason’s Leadership Class.


    Outside of the UI, she served as a Senate page in the 2011 legislative session.  She is a first-generation Iowan and the oldest of four children.


    Regent Walsh’s term on the Board expires April 30, 2015.

Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all University of Iowa-sponsored events. If you are a person with a disability who requires an accommodation in order to participate in this program, please contact Leslie Gannon at (319) 335-6817 or leslie-gannon@uiowa.edu.