The Carrie Chapman Catt Center for Women and Politics was founded in 1992 in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Iowa State University to interest, educate, and engage citizens in the political process. The center’s programs blend the resources and scholarship of the academic environment with the experiences of practitioners in fields important to the political process.

In carrying out its mission, the center:

  • Offers leadership development and mentoring opportunities to ISU students interested in politics, public service and women’s issues through the Legacy of Heroines scholarship program and undergraduate internships;
  • Fosters research on issues related to gender and politics through the Archives of Women’s Political Communication, Women in Iowa Politics Database, Gender Balance Project, Carrie Chapman Catt Prize for Research on Women and Politics, and other studies conducted by center staff and students;
  • Brings prominent women leaders, scholars, and political activists and practitioners to campus through the Mary Louise Smith Chair in Women and Politics and in collaboration with other programs with a focus on women’s leadership, gender and politics, and women’s issues;
  • Encourages women and men to pursue careers in politics, public administration, and public service through the Ready to Run® Iowa campaign training program; and
  • Provides educational resources for K-12 educators and others on women’s suffrage, women’s political communication, and the Equal Rights Amendment.