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.