Mary Louise Smith Chair

The Mary Louise Smith Chair in Women and Politics was announced by Iowa State University in October 1995 to honor the Iowa native and longtime political and civic leader. Mary Louise Smith - the first woman to chair the Republican National Committee and the only one until Ronna Romney McDaniel in 2017 - was a mentor, friend and role model to many in the world of politics and civic, community and government affairs.

The purpose of the chair is to bring nationally renowned political leaders, scholars and activists to Iowa State University to enrich the experiences of students and educate citizens about the role of women in the political process.

Following in the footsteps of Mary Louise Smith, the chair serves as an inspiration and role model for students as well as other members of the university community and citizens of the state of Iowa.

Spring 2019: Florence George Graves, award-winning investigative journalist and founding director of the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism at Brandeis University, will visit Iowa State University on Monday, April 1, as the 31st recipient of the Mary Louise Smith Chair in Women and Politics.

Fall 2017 - Amy Klobuchar
Fall 2016 - Lynn Povich
Fall 2015 - Kathleen Parker
Spring 2015 - Michelle Bernard
Fall 2014 - Mara Liasson
Spring 2014 - Claire McCaskill
Fall 2013 - Karen Hughes
Fall 2012 - Candy Crowley
Fall 2011 - Christina Romer
Spring 2011 - Gwen Ifill
Fall 2010 - Anne Mulcahy
Spring 2009 - Michele Norris
Fall 2008 - Carly Fiorina
Spring 2008 - Madeleine Kunin
Fall 2007 - Hillary Clinton
Fall 2006 - Lynn Sherr
Spring 2006 - Kathleen Kennedy Townsend
Fall 2005 - Soledad O'Brien
Spring 2005 - Laura Liswood
Fall 2004 - Claudia Kennedy
Spring 2004 - Carol Moseley Braun
Fall 2003 - Eleanor Clift
Spring 2003 - Patricia Schroeder
Fall 2002 - Christine Todd Whitman
Spring 2002 - Harriett Woods
Fall 2001 - Marie Wilson
Fall 2000 - Carole Simpson
Spring 1999 - Elizabeth Dole
Fall 1997 - Ruth Mandel
Fall 1996 - Nancy Landon Kassebaum Baker