Elizabeth Rigby

Elizabeth Rigby

Elizabeth Rigby

Associate Professor of Public Policy and Public Administration


Office Phone: (202) 994-6196
Fax: (202) 994-6792
805 21st St. NW Washington, DC 20052

Elizabeth Rigby is an Associate Professor in the Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public Administration at George Washington University where she teaches courses on the role of politics in the policymaking process. Her research examines the interplay of politics, policy, and social inequality, particularly as it impacts vulnerable children and families.
In current research, Dr. Rigby examines the representation of the poor across state legislatures and in the U.S. Senate, public opinion regarding health disparities, achievement gaps and other forms of social inequality, and the ways academic research can be better utilized in the policymaking process. Her research has been published in a range of journals including: American Journal of Political Science, Health Affairs, Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, Policy Studies Journal, Political Research Quarterly, and Journal of Health Politics, Policy, and Law.
Dr. Rigby holds a Ph.D. (with distinction) in Politics and Education from Columbia University. In addition, she received post-doctoral training in population health at the University of Wisconsin-Madison as a Robert Wood Johnson Health and Society Scholar.
Complimenting this academic training, Dr. Rigby has worked at the intersection of politics, policy, and inequality in a range of roles. These include: coordinating a state-wide lobbying campaign, consulting with state policymakers on design of early childhood education programs, teaching in a large urban school district, and conducting evaluation research in Head Start programs. During her 2014-2015 sabbatical, Dr. Rigby served as an American Political Science Association Congressional Fellow working for the Senate Finance Committee on health and human services issues, particularly child welfare finance reform. Together these experiences convinced her of the importance of structural and institutional influences on both individual outcomes and the inequalities we see among population sub-groups. This conviction motivates her work illuminating the causes and consequences of public policy in our society.

  • Politics of Poverty and Inequality
  • Health and Social Policy Analysis
  • Policymaking Process
  • Political Parties and Representation

PPPA 6011  Politics and Policy Analysis
PPPA 6019  MPP Capstone


Rigby, Elizabeth and Kimberly J. Morgan (2018). “Academic Research and Legislative Advocacy: Information Use in the Campaign against Repeal of the ACA.” Journal of Health Politics, Policy, and Law, 43(3).

Rigby, Elizabeth and Megan Hatch. (2017). “For Richer or Poorer: The Politics of Redistribution in Bad Economic Times.” Political Research Quarterly, 70(3):590-603.

Rigby, Elizabeth and Megan Hatch (2016). “Incorporating Economic Policies into a Health in All Policy Agenda.” Health Affairs, 35(1):2044-2052

Moynihan, Donald, Pam Herd, and Elizabeth Rigby (2016). “Policymaking by Other Means: Do Governments Use Administrative Barriers to Limit Access to Medicaid? Administration and Society, 48(4): 497-524.

Hatch, Megan and Elizabeth Rigby (2015). “Laboratories of (In)equality? Redistributive Policy and Income Inequality in the American States. Policy Studies Journal, 43(2): 163-187. [Awarded 2016 Theodore J. Lowi Award for the best article in Policy Studies Journal published in 2015]

Rigby, Elizabeth and Gerald C. Wright (2013). “Political Parties and Representation of the Poor in the American States.” American Journal of Political Science, 57(3):552-565. [Selected as Best Journal Article Published in 2013, State Politics and Policy Section, APSA]

“Party Politics and Enactment of Obamacare: A Policy-Centered Analysis of Minority Party Involvement,” with Jennifer Hayes Clark and Stacey Pelika, Journal of Health Politics, Policy, and Law, 2014.

“Hybrid Federalism, Partisan Politics, and the Early Implementation of State Health Insurance Exchanges,” with Jake Haselswerdt, Publius: The Journal of Federalism, 2013


 "Voter Suppression, Equal Rights, and The Promise of Democracy," Panel presentation at Harvard

“Prevention as Health Policy,” Dialogue on Diversity/American Federation of Teachers, Invited presentation to community group

“Money in Politics Symposium,” University of Utah

American University, Center on Health, Risk, and Society Seminar Series, 2012

PhD, Politics and Education, Columbia University
MA, Education, Washington University in St. Louis
BA, Political Science, Emory University