Associate Professor and Chair, Political Science & International Relations
Office HoursWed 10-11:30am & Thur 2-3pm
Leanne Doherty is an assistant professor of American Politics in the Department of Political Science and International Relations. After receiving a BA in Government from Clark University, she received her Ph.D. from Northeastern University in 2004 with a concentration in public policy.
Professor Doherty's research focuses on the role that athletics play in political leadership. It explores the idea of athletes as elites in American society and how the disparity between male and female athletes in turn decreases women's status in the social eligibility pool that which is seen as a key factor in successful achievement of political office. Her book, Level Playing Field for All: Female Political Leadership and Athletics (Lexington Books — Rowman and Littlefield Publishers, Inc.; February 2011) examines campaign biographies and the use of athletic experiences to describe leadership qualities for federal legislators. Her new research project looks at various state policies concerning "mandated" breastfeeding policy and the role of interest groups and the federal government in changing problem definitions around infant health.
Dr. Doherty's teaching is centered around the American political system, with a concentration on gender and politics, sports, popular culture, and politics, and public policy. She was named Professor of the Year in 2008 and received the Dean's Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Advising in 2009.
She is the faculty coordinator of the Barbara Lee Family Foundation Intern Fellowship Program which seeks to give young women exposure to and education in the nuts and bolts of Massachusetts political leadership through practical experience, thereby increasing the number of young women who enter the pipeline of political leadership.
Prof. Doherty is also the pre law advisor for both undergraduates and alumni hoping to attend law school.