Dianne Bystrom

Director Emerita


Dr. Dianne Bystrom is director emerita of the Carrie Chapman Catt Center for Women and Politics at Iowa State University. She directed the center for 22 years before retiring in August 2018. She also established Iowa State’s Leadership Studies Program and served as its director for 10 years. At Iowa State, she taught courses on women and politics, political campaigns, and women and leadership. Bystrom has contributed to 25 books—including "Women in the American Political System: An Encyclopedia of Women as Voters, Candidates, and Office Holders" (2019); "An Unprecedented Election: Media, Communication, and the Electorate in the 2016 Campaign" (2018); and "Gender and Elections" (2018, 2014, 2009 and 2006)—as a co-author, co-editor or chapter author. She was inducted into the Iowa Women’s Hall of Fame in 2018, honored with the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Distinguished Service Award in 2019, named a Woman of Influence by the Des Moines Business Record in 2017, and received the Iowa Network for Women in Higher Education’s Distinguished Leadership Award in 2016. Bystrom continues to serve as a speaker and commentator about women’s issues, leadership and politics for community groups, professional organizations and the media. She also is serving a two-year term (2019-2021) as co-president of the League of Women Voters of Nebraska. Bystrom earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Kearney (NE) State College and a master’s degree in journalism and Ph.D. in communication, both from the University of Oklahoma.

Email: dbystrom@iastate.edu