Karen O’Connor, Ph.D.

Title: Political Science Professor
Company: American University
Location: Washington, District of Columbia, United States

Karen O’Connor, Ph.D., Political Science Professor at American University, has been recognized by Marquis Who’s Who Top Educators for dedication, achievements, and leadership in political science and higher education.

With more than 40 years of professional experience, Dr. O’Connor is an esteemed and celebrated figure in the realm of political science and women’s rights. Serving as the Jonathan N. Helfat Distinguished Professor at American University since 2006, she formerly acted as a professor at the university from 1995 to 2006. Prior to these illustrious roles, she was an instructor of political science, assistant professor, associate professor, and full professor at Emory University between 1977 and 1995.

Alongside her primary endeavors, Dr. O’Connor is the founder and director emerita of the Women & Politics Institute at American University, a role she has fulfilled since 2009. An expert on American politics and how they relate to the women’s rights movement, she also sits on the editorial board of the Journal of Women, Politics and Public Policy. The author of myriad articles and several books, including “American Government: Roots and Reform, 11th Edition” in 2011, “Women, Politics, and American Society (Longman Classics in Political Science), Fifth Edition” in 2010, and “No Neutral Ground: Abortion Politics in an Age of Absolutes” in 1996, she is the former president of the National Capitol Area Political Science Association and the organized law and courts research section of the American Political Science Association.

Dr. O’Connor attributes her success to her elementary school teachers, who encouraged her to push past her limits to achieve greater success in life. She holds a Bachelor of Arts, Doctor of Jurisprudence, and Doctor of Philosophy from the University at Buffalo. In recognition of her exceptional contributions to law and education, she was the recipient of the Diane Blair Award in 2018, the Joan Fiss Bishop Award for Contributions to the Advancement of Women in Public Administration in 2007, the Manning J. Dauer Jr. Award from the Southern Political Science Association in 2007, and the Faculty Research Award from 2006 to 2008. Likewise, she was inducted into the Nardin Academy Hall of Fame in 2004 and was deemed Scholar/Teacher of the Year by American University in 2002, among several other accolades. Notably, she has been highlighted in several editions of Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in American Education, Who’s Who in the South and Southwest, Who’s Who in the World, Who’s Who of American Women and Who’s Who of Emerging Leaders in America.

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Lifetime Achievement

American University

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