Full-Time Faculty

Rachel Caufield
Associate Professor
Office: 211 Meredith Hall

Office phone and voicemail:  515.271.1924

E-mail Address: rachel.caufield@drake.edu

Office Hours Spring 2014:

MW 2:00-4:00 PM
R 10:00-12:30 PM

and by appointment

2006 Honors Program Teacher of the Year
2010 Madelyn Levitt Teacher of the Year Award
2012 A&S Distinguished Engagement Award



Rachel Paine Caufield joined the Politics Department in the fall of 2001. She received her Ph.D. from the Department of Political Science at The George Washington University and her B.A. in Mathematics and Political Science from Hood College in Frederick, MD. Her teaching and research interests focus on American political institutions, including judicial politics, legislative politics, and the American presidency as well as inter-branch relationships and empirical research methods. She has served as a Visiting Fellow at The Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C. She also currently serves as the research and program consultant to the Hunter Center for Judicial Selection at the American Judicature Society and principal organizer for an effort to educate citizens about issues and processes related to the 2008 Iowa Caucuses.


Debra DeLaet
Professor and Chair

Office: 210 Meredith Hall 

Office phone and voice mail:  515.271.1844 

E-mail Address: debra.delaet@drake.edu

Office Hours Spring 2014:
1:00-2:30 PM
W 10:00-11:30 AM
R 9:30-11:30 AM

2007 Honors Program Teacher of the Year
2011 Arts & Sciences Teacher of the Year
2012 Stalnaker Lecturer


Debra DeLaet received her B.A. in Political Science from Miami University (Oxford, Ohio), and her M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Notre Dame.  She teaches courses on world politics, human rights, international law, the United Nations, gender and world politics, and peacebuilding and post-conflict justice, and global public health. DeLaet has published one book on U.S. immigration policy and one on human rights, along with one edited volume. She has also published numerous journal articles, book chapters and reviews. Her current research projects focus on global public health.   Professor DeLaet supervises Drake's participation in the Model United Nations simulations.



Dennis Goldford

Personal Home Page
Office: 208 Meredith Hall 

Office phone and voice mail: 515.271.3197 

E-mail Address: dennis.goldford@drake.edu
Office Hours Spring 2014:
TR 11:00-12:30 PM
F    9:00-11:00 AM - By Appointment Only

2008 Stalnaker Lecturer
2012 Centennial Scholar

I came to Drake University and the Department of Politics and International Relations in 1985, and served as Department Chair 1994-2004.   I received my B.A. in political science and philosophy from the University of Michigan, an M. Litt. Masterof Letters in philosophy from Oxford University, and an M.A. and Ph.D. in political science from the University of Chicago.  During those years of education I spent two years in England and one year in Germany, foreign experiences I recommend to all students.  The courses I teach for the Department are in the areas of political theory and constitutional law, and they include such courses as Classical Political Theory; Modern Political Theory; American Political Theory; the American Founding; American Liberalism and Conservatism; Law, Politics and Religion; and a Seminar in Constitutional Law.  After publishing articles on topics in political theory, I have come to concentrate my research in the field of constitutional theory.  In addition to articles in that field, I published a book entitled The American Constitution and the Debate Over Originalism (Cambridge University Press, 2005).  More recently, I co-authored, with former colleague Hugh Winebrenner, The Iowa Caucuses:  The Making of a Media Event, 3rd ed. (University of Iowa Press, 2011), and my latest book,  The Constitution of Religious Freedom:  God, Politics, and the First Amendment, should be published in spring 2012.   My current research deals with federalism, federal power, and the nature of the American union, with particular focus on the constitutional claims of the Tea Party movement.  Finally, I speak often about politics and elections to community, business, and professional organizations, and am a frequent commentator on Iowa and national politics through both local and national media outlets.



Mahmoud Hamad
Assistant Professor

Office: 218 Meredith Hall
Office phone and voice mail: 515.271.2845
E-mail Address: mahmoud.hamad@drake.edu


Office Hours Spring 2014:
F 8:00-9:00 AM & 11:30-12:30 PM
and by appointment


Mahmoud Hamad joined the Politics Department in the fall of 2008. He received his Ph.D. from the Department of Political Science at The University of Utah and his B.A. and M.A. in Political Science from Cairo University, Egypt. His teaching and research interests focus on Middle East politics, comparative judicial politics, civil-military relations as well as religion and politics. Prior to coming to Des Moines, Mahmoud taught at Cairo University, BYU, and the University of Utah. Mahmoud was a Fulbright scholar twice during his graduate study and in the summer 2008 he attended Brandeis University’s Summer Institute for Israel Studies. His current research projects focus on the judicialization of politics in the Middle East. 



Mary McCarthy
Associate Professor

Office: 226A Meredith Hall

Office phone and voicemail:  515.271.2038

E-mail Address: mary.mccarthy@drake.edu
Office Hours Spring 2014:

W 3:30-6:00 PM
R 12:15-2:45 PM
and by appointment


Mary McCarthy joined the Politics Department in the Fall of 2007. She received her M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in Political Science, as well as her B.A. degree in East Asian Studies, from Columbia University. Her research and teaching interests include the influence of domestic politics on foreign policymaking, the interaction between the state and the market, the relationship between bureaucrats and politicians, the role of the media in the political system, and the impact of environmental degradation and resource depletion on international and national security. Her regional focus is East Asia.



Joanna Mosser
Associate Professor

Office: 212 Meredith Hall

Office phone and voicemail:  515.271.4522
E-mail Address: joanna.mosser@drake.edu
Office Hours Spring 2014:
T/R 1:30-3:30 PM
or by appointment

Joanna Mosser joined the Politics Department in Fall 2006. She received her B.A. in English and Political Science from the University of Portland (OR) and her M.A., MPhil., and Ph.D. in Political Science from Yale University. Her research and teaching  interests include American political development, public policy, contemporary political theory, and the intersection between law, politics, and society. She serves on the governing council for LPS and is the faculty advisor for the Rainbow Union and Pi Sigma Alpha, the political science honors society.


Arthur Sanders

Office: Old Main 320A 

Office phone and voicemail:  515.271.3172
E-mail Address: arthur.sanders@drake.edu

Office Hours:
  by appointment


1994 Arts and Sciences Teacher of the Year
2004 Stalnaker Lecturer
2006 Centennial Scholar
Ellis and Nelle Distinguished Professor of Politics 

I received my B.A. degree from Franklin and Marshall College (1978) and my Ph.D. from Harvard University (1982). I came to Drake in the fall of 1990.  My areas of research include the formation and dynamics of public opinion, the role of the media and the impact of money, political parties and interest groups on our political processes. I have published four books on American politics, the most recent in 2007 titled Losing Control: Presidential Elections and the Decline of Democracy, as well as numerous articles and book chapters. I teach classes on the American political process, public opinion, elections, media and politics, women and politics, and comparative political parties and interest groups. My current research focus is a project on the role of money and interest groups on elections and health care policy in Iowa. I currently serve as the University's Associate Provost for Curriculum and Assessment. I am a frequent commentator on Iowa and national politics through both local and national media outlets.



David Skidmore

Curriculum Vitae

Office: 213 Meredith Hall 

Office phone and voice mail: 515.271.3843 

E-mail Address: david.skidmore@drake.edu
Office Hours Spring 2014:
M    4:00-6:00 PM
T/R 11:00-12:30 PM


2002 Stalnaker Lecturer
2003 International Student Association Teacher of the Year

David Skidmore received his Ph.D. degree from Stanford University and taught at Hamilton College and the University of Notre Dame before arriving at Drake in 1989. During the 1996-97 academic year, he taught at the Johns Hopkins-Nanjing University Center for Chinese and American Studies in Nanjing, China. In 2010-11, he served as a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Hong Kong. His other travels have taken him to Egypt, Burma, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, England, Mexico, Costa Rica, Argentina, Chile, Jamaica, Nicaragua and Brazil. Skidmore serves as Director of the Principal Financial Group Center for Global Citizenship at Drake University and is past Director of the Drake Curriculum and First Year Seminar programs. His research and teaching interests lie in the areas of international political economy, American foreign policy and international relations theory. Skidmore is author, co-author or editor of six books including, most recently, a monograph titled The Unilateralist Temptation in American Foreign Policy (Routledge, 2011), and has published numerous articles or chapters in various academic journals and books. He is currently working on a co-authored textbook on the political economy of globalization.



Eleanor Zeff
Associate Professor

Personal Home Page

Office: 209 Meredith Hall 

Office phone and voice mail: 515.271.3102 

E-mail Address: eleanor.zeff@drake.edu

Office Hours Spring 2014:
MW   1:00-2:00 PM
TR     3:30-5:00 PM
and by appointment

2006 Madelyn M. Levitt, Mentor of the Year


Eleanor Zeff received her B.A. from Tufts University and her M.A. and Ph. D. from the Graduate Faculty of the New School for Social Research in New York City. Besides teaching at Drake, she has also taught at Central College and at Iowa State University. Dr. Zeff has several publications on European politics, developing areas and especially on African politics.  She also recently completed an edited book on The European Union and the Member States and has done research on "women and politics" and on European governments. Her courses include Comparative Parliamentary Systems, Politics of Developing Areas, European Integration, Nationalism and Politics in Eastern Europe and Western European Governments.


Part-Time and Visiting Faculty


Ellen Pirro
Adjunct Professor

Office: 205 Meredith Hall 

Office phone and voice mail: 515.271.1937 

E-mail Address: ellen.pirro@drake.edu

Office Hours:
T/R 4:00-5:00 PM
and by appointment





Kieran Williams
Visiting Assistant Professor

Office: 226A Meredith 

Office phone and voice mail: 515.271.2185 

E-mail Address: kieran.williams@drake.edu

Office Hours:
R 12:30-1:45 PM