SMU - Women in Congress, Breaking the Glass Ceiling

Dennis Simon
University Distinguished Teaching Professor
Department of Political Science
Dedman College
Southern Methodist University


Dennis Simon

Dennis Simon is an expert on national elections, public opinion and political behavior, the American Presidency, and the politics of change in the United States.  He is available for interviews and speaking engagements on: women running for Congress and congressional elections generally, the 2008 presidential election campaign and the electoral system, how presidents are evaluated by the public, and the impact of the civil rights and women’s movements.

Professor Simon is the co-author of Breaking the Political Glass Ceiling, with Barbara Palmer of American University, a book that explores how incumbency and redistricting shape the integration of women into Congress.  One of the general themes is that over time, drawing districts to protect incumbents has had the unintended consequence of helping Democratic women get elected, while making it more difficult for Republican women to win their primaries. In fact, of 435 House districts, over 150 are unlikely to ever elect a woman of either party. 

As a professor at Southern Methodist University, his research has appeared in the American Political Science Review, the American Journal of Political Science, the Journal of Politics, the Journal of Conflict Resolution, Public Opinion Quarterly, and Gender and Politics.  He regularly teaches courses on congressional elections, the American Presidency, presidential elections, the politics of change in the United States, and politics and film.  Professor Simon has been interviewed by CNN, ABC World News Tonight, NBC News, the Washington Post, USA Today, and Texas Public Radio. He has been invited to speak before a wide variety of organizations in Texas and elsewhere.

Professor Simon is a founding member of the John Goodwin Tower Center for Political Studies at Southern Methodist University, a non-partisan center associated with the Department of Political Science that sponsors public programs as well as research by faculty and undergraduate students.  He received his Ph.D. in Political Science from the Michigan State University. 

Professor Simon can be reached dsimon@smu.edu or 214-768-2527.

Also see Professor Simon's curriculum vitae.