Dianne Bystrom

Director Emerita


Dept:Carrie Chapman Catt Center
Office:315 Catt
2224 Osborn Dr
Ames IA


Dr. Dianne Bystrom served as the director of the Carrie Chapman Catt Center for Women and Politics at Iowa State University from July 1996 to August 2018. She established Iowa State’s interdisciplinary undergraduate Leadership Studies Program; taught courses on leadership, women and politics, and political campaigns; and spoke frequently to university and community organizations throughout the state and nation on women’s leadership and political status. A frequent commentator about political and women’s issues for state, national and international media, her current research interests focused on (1) the styles and strategies used by female and male political candidates in their television advertising, websites and social media and (2) the coverage of women candidates and political leaders by the media. Bystrom is a contributor, co-author or co-editor of 21 books – including "The Handbook of Political Advertising" (2017); "alieNATION: The Divide and Conquer Election of 2012" (2014); "Gender and Elections" (2014, 2009 and 2006); "Media Disparity: A Gender Battleground" (2013); "Women & Executive Office: Pathways and Performance" (2013); "Cracking the Highest Glass Ceiling: A Global Comparison of Women's Campaigns for Executive Office" (2010); "Legislative Women: Getting Elected, Getting Ahead" (2008); "Gender and Candidate Communication" (2004); and "Anticipating Madam President" (2003) – and has written journal articles on women and politics, youth voters and the Iowa caucus. Her work at Iowa State was recognized with the 2016 Martin Luther King Jr. Advancing One Community Faculty/Staff Award, the 2015 Faculty/Staff Inspiration Award from the Alumni Association, and the 2014 Institutional Service Award from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. She was the first recipient of the Iowa Network for Women in Higher Education's Distinguished Higher Education Leadership Award in April 2016. In August 2017, Bystrom was honored as one of seven Women of Influence by the Des Moines Business Record. Before joining Iowa State, Bystrom worked for 17 years at the University of Oklahoma in public relations, higher education administration and political communication. She earned a B.A. in journalism in 1975 from Kearney (NE) State College and an M.A. in journalism and mass communication in 1982 and a Ph.D. in communication in 1995 from the University of Oklahoma.