Strategic Public RelationsFACULTY

The faculty of the Master’s in Strategic Public Relations program represents a broad diversity of professionals and scholars in the public relations and political management fields.

Lara Brown

Lara M. Brown
Director of the Graduate School of Political Management (GSPM) and Associate Professor (Ph.D., M.A., B.A., University of California, Los Angeles; M.A., University of Arizona)



As director, Dr. Brown sets the overarching strategy for the school; initiates and cultivates engagement with alumni and donors; serves as the liaison for the GSPM Board of Advisors; fosters partnerships with non-profit educational organizations and research collaborators; sets the standards for our master’s degree programs and graduate certificates; leads adjunct faculty hiring efforts; recruits prospective students; and mentors GSPM students.

A distinguished writer and dedicated scholar, Dr. Brown is the author of Jockeying for the American Presidency: The Political Opportunism of Aspirants (Cambria Press, 2010), which was the first systematic study of presidential aspirants from the 1790s through 2008. She co-edited and contributed to two other recent books: The Presidential Leadership Dilemma: Between the Constitution and a Political Party (SUNY Press, 2013) and Campaigning for President 2016: Strategy and Tactics, 3rd edition (Routledge, forthcoming).

Dr. Brown has authored several book chapters in other scholarly volumes, such as The Presidency and the Political System (CQ Press, edited by, Michael Nelson) and Understanding the Presidency (Pearson and Longman, edited by James P. Pfiffner and Roger H. Davidson). She has published articles in peer-reviewed journals, such as Congress and the Presidency, Presidential Studies Quarterly, and American Politics Research.

Her current research project (working book title: Mirror Images: The Gilded Age, the Global Age, and Federalism’s Revival) is a comparative historical undertaking, which argues that America is presently undergoing a tumultuous period similar to what the country experienced during the Gilded Age.


Dr. Brown is a frequent presence in the media, appearing on dozens of television and radio programs, and serving as an expert on politics, elections, and governance for scores of print publications. She has written for blogs for The New York Times, Politico, The Hill, and The Huffington Post. She also serves as a regular contributor to U.S. News & World Report’s Thomas Jefferson Street blog.

Prior to Dr. Brown’s appointment as director, she served as the program director for the political management graduate program at GSPM. Before coming to the George Washington University, Dr. Brown served as an assistant professor in the Department of Political Science at Villanova University.

Before returning to academia in 2004, she worked as an education policy and public affairs consultant in Silicon Valley and Los Angeles. Dr. Brown served as a political appointee in President William J. Clinton’s administration at the U.S. Department of Education.

Born and raised in California, Dr. Brown earned her B.A., M.A. and Ph.D. in political science from the University of California, Los Angeles. She also earned an M.A. in American politics and public policy from the University of Arizona.

Dr. Brown grew up racing sailboats on the San Francisco Bay and she is an avid college football fan. She is married and lives with her husband in Washington, D.C.

Follow her on Twitter @LaraMBrownPhD