Task Forces
The APSA task forces seek to expand the public presence of political science by putting the best of political science research and knowledge at the service of critical issues that have major public policy implications, and by sharing with broader society what political scientists know about important trends and issues in areas of public concern. Presided over, and on topics chosen by, each APSA President, APSA task forces develop reports and recommendations that are then made available to APSA members and the public. Find completed task force reports here.

Task Force on Systemic Inequality in the Discipline

APSA President Paula D. McClain has appointed a Task Force on Examining Issues and Mechanisms of Systemic Inequality in the Discipline. There are many issues of concern for marginalized members of our discipline, such as racial and ethnic minority scholars, women of all races and ethnicities, LGBTQ scholars. This task force will attempt to address questions of how systemic systems of inequality that have manifest overtime in the discipline affect the career trajectories and experiences within the broad contours of the discipline of scholars pushed to margins of the discipline. In general, we must ask how do marginalized members of our discipline experience their scholarly lives in the discipline, at annual and regional meetings, and in their home departments. What effect do these experiences have on their career trajectory, including their tenure and promotion prospects? 

The goals for the task force are to examine the systemic inequalities that marginalized scholars within our community experience and to propose recommendations for ameliorating them, particularly for APSA and for departments of political science across the country. One aim would be to develop a set of best practices that would bring about change in those inequalities and move the discipline in a more open and accepting direction. Read more about the task force.

Working Group Co-Chairs

  • Citation Patterns and Inequities: John Garcia
  • Climate and Context: Carol Mershon
  • Graduate Training and Graduate Student Experiences: Niambi Carter
  • Tenure and Promotion Standards: Burdens of Faculty of Color: Cathy Cohen

Citation Working Group

  • Eric Juenke (Michigan State)
  • Gabe Sanchez (UNM)
  • Andrea Benjamin (Oklahoma)
  • Karam Dana (U Washington-Bothel)
  • Ashley Jardina (Duke University)
  • Camille Burge (Villanova University)
  • John Ishiyama (Univ. of North Texas)
  • Chris Parker (Univ. Washington)
  • Natalie Masuoka (UCLA)
  • Carrie Liu Carrier (TCU)

Climate Working Group

  • Brooke Ackerly, Vanderbilt University
  • Sekou Franklin, Tennessee State University
  • Cyril Ghosh, Wagner College
  • Melissa Michelson, Menlo College
  • Evelyn Simien, University of Connecticut
  • Sophia Jordán Wallace, University of Washington
  • Hongying Wang, University of Waterloo
  • Betina Cutaia Wilkinson, Wake Forest University

Graduate Student Working Group

  • Fernando Tormes Aponte, UMBC
  • Zein Murib, Fordham University
  • Najja Baptist, University of Arkansas, at Fayetteville
  • Kesicia Dickson, Michigan State University
  • Sara Sadhwani, California Lutheran
  • Alan Le, University of Minnesota Jair Moreira, UIUC

Burdens of Faculty of Color Working Group

  • Taeku Lee, University of California, Berkeley
  • Christina Rivers, DePaul University, Chicago
  • Janelle Wong, University of Maryland
  • Christina Greer, Fordham University
  • Cedric Johnson, University of Illinois, Chicago
  • Todd Shaw, University of South Carolina
  • Regina Freer, Occidental College
  • Ricardo Ramirez, University of Notre Dame
  • Dara Strolovitch, Princeton University

APSA Presidential Task Force on New Partnerships
APSA President-Elect Rogers Smith has appointed a Task Force on New Partnerships to propose new initiatives in the areas of research, teaching, and civic engagement. Higher education in America today is embattled on many fronts, and the discipline of political science is often singled out for criticism. The roots of these challenges are deep and broad and cannot be addressed by APSA alone. The Task Force on New Partnerships, with members drawn from a variety of higher education institutions across the country, seeks to identify ways APSA can form, stimulate, and aid new partnerships—nationally, regionally, and locally—that can strengthen the contributions of our profession to public discourse and make them more visible. It particularly seeks to enhance APSA aid to scholars at non-R1 institutions. A report detailing the Task Force’s aims and activities can be found in the October 2020 issue of PS: Political Science and Politics and via this link.

  • Robert Lieberman, Johns Hopkins University, chair
  • Keith Gaddie, University of Oklahoma
  • William Galston, Brookings
  • Hahrie Han, University of California Santa Barbara
  • Tyson King-Meadows, University of Maryland Baltimore County
  • Jennet Kirkpatrick, Arizona State University
  • Matthew Kocher, Johns Hopkins University
  • Peter Levine, Tufts University
  • Harris Mylonas, George Washington University
  • Amy Cabrera Rasmussen, California State University Long Beach
  • Shelley Rigger, Davidson College
  • Cammy Shay, Houston Community College
  • Valeria Sinclair-Chapman, Purdue University
  • Renee Van Vechten, University of Redlands
APSA Presidential Task Force on Women’s Advancement in the Profession
APSA President Kathleen Thelen has appointed a Task Force on Women's Advancement in the Profession to understand career path differences between women and men in the profession of Political Science and the factors shaping women’s advancement. Despite increasing gender parity in PhD programs, women are more likely than men are to take part time and temporary teaching positions or non-academic jobs upon graduation. Women who pursue careers in research universities still face lower chances of getting tenure than their male counterparts. Women of color have issues all their own around critical mass, mentorship, and the marginalization of their research interests. The aim is not to valorize a single career path, but to understand how and why they differ by gender and/or race. We plan to identify best practices and then propose recommendations for APSA, disciplinary practices, and departmental and university policies. An update on the Task Force's activities is available here.

Task Force Members:
  • Mala Htun, University of New Mexico, co-chair
  • Frances Rosenbluth, Yale, co-chair
  • Lisa Baldez, Dartmouth
  • Nadia Brown, Purdue
  • Page Fortna, Columbia
  • Lisa García Bedolla, UC Berkeley
  • Claudine Gay, Harvard
  • Jens Hainmueller, Stanford
  • Tali Mendelberg, Princeton
  • Sara Parker, Chabot College
  • David Samuels, University of Minnesota
  • Kira Sanbonmatsu, Rutgers
  • Al Tillery, Northwestern
  • Laura van Assendelft, Mary Baldwin College
  • Jane Mansbridge, Harvard Kennedy School, Senior Advisor
  • Dianne Pinderhughes, Notre Dame, Senior Advisor
APSA Presidential Task Force on Research Conflicts of Interest and Human Subjects Research
APSA Past President David Lake has appointed two ad hoc committees as part of his presidential Task Force, one focusing on financial conflicts of interest and the other on ethics in human subjects research. The ad hoc Conflict of Interest committee will develop policy for consideration by the APSA Governing Council concerning financial conflicts of interest in political science research, teaching, and other practices. The ad hoc Committee on Human Subjects will review and potentially propose new language for the APSA Guide to Professional Ethics, Rights, and Freedoms, Section H (currently pp.27-28 of the “Guide”). The object is to identify broad principles of ethics relating to research on human subjects that can guide individual scholars in the design and practice of their research, inform institutional review boards about current standards and practices in Political Science research, and possibly form the basis for Association standards in areas of broad-based agreement.

Conflict of Interest Committee:
  • Michael Mastanduno, Dartmouth College, chair
  • J. Patrick Dobel, University of Washington
  • Mark Hurwitz, Western Michigan University
  • Paula McClain, Duke University
  • John Sides, George Washington University
  • Joan Tronto, University of Minnesota
  • Diego Von Vacano, Texas A&M University
Human Subjects Research Committee:
  • Scott Desposato, University of California, San Diego, Co-Chair
  • Trisha Phillips, University of West Virginia, Co-Chair
  • Matthew Barreto, University of California, Los Angeles
  • Catherine Boone, London School of Economics and Political Science)
  • Macartan Humphreys, Columbia University
  • Rose McDermott, Brown University
  • Layna Mosley, University of North Carolina
  • Daniel Nielson, Brigham Young University
  • Peregine Schwartz-Shea, University of Utah
  • Susan Thomson, Colgate College
  • Elisabeth Wood, Yale University
APSA Election Assistance Task Force

On September 8, 2020, the APSA Council approved the creation of an Election Assistance Task Force to leverage the expertise and experience of political scientists to support free, fair, and open elections in the United States on November 3, 2020 and thereafter. Consistent with the APSA bylaws, the Task Force on Election Assistance is non-partisan.

The purpose of the task force is to foster broader knowledge and understanding of non-partisan election assistance, including resources on non-partisan voter mobilization organizations, poll worker recruitment, technical aid to election officials implementing new systems, voter registration, the prevention of voter intimidation and disenfranchisement, and an understanding of how political scientists empirically identify and measure voter fraud.

Task Force Members:
  • Jan Box-SteffensmeierOhio State University
  • Lee Ann Banaszak*, Penn State University
  • David Lublin*, American University
  • Christina BarskyUniversity of Montana
  • Camille Burge, Villanova University
  • Darren DavisNotre Dame
  • Erik HerronWest Virginia University
  • Doug HessGrinnell College
  • Marc MeredithUniversity of Pennsylvania
  • Costas PanagopoulosNortheastern University
  • Kay ScholzmanBoston College
  • Jennifer VictorGeorge Mason
  • Veronica ReynaHouston Community College
  • Taeku LeeUniversity of California Berkeley
Task Force on Coronavirus 

Committee Members:

  • Christina Greer, Fordham University, co-chair
  • Virginia Sapiro, Boston University, co-chairs
  • Eileen Hunt Botting, Notre Dame University
  • Frank Baumgartner, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Jonathan Benjamin-Alvarado, University of Nebraska, Omaha
  • Neil Chaturvedi, California State; Polytechnic University, Pomona
  • Nick Clark, Susquehanna University
  • Patrick Egan, New York University
  • Keesha Middlemass, Howard University
  • Mark Peterson, University of California, Los Angeles
  • Tressa Tabares, American Rivers College
  • Rachel Torres, University of Iowa

The APSA Task Force on the Coronavirus, appointed by President Paula McClain on the recommendation of the APSA Council, worked through the summer of 2020 to identify implications of the coronavirus pandemic for our profession, institutions, and professional organizations, emphasizing actions our members, institutions, and organizations could effectively take to avoid harm, ameliorate negative effects, and learn from the experience.  The Task Force produced the following statements:

  • A Statement on Federal and State Support for Institutions of Higher Education.  The complete statement can be viewed here.
  • A Statement to APSA Presidential Task Force on Coronavirus Statement of Concern to Academic Institutions on the Protection of Basic Civil and Human Rights during the Novel Coronavirus Pandemic. The complete statement can be viewed here.
  • A Statement and Recommendations on Teaching during the Novel Coronavirus Pandemic. The complete statement can be viewed here.
  • A Statement and Recommendations on Professional Career and Personnel Matters. The complete statement can be viewed here.