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Gender and Sexuality Research Initiative

Bringing gender and sexuality to the forefront of research and policy discussions in global politics.

The Gender and Sexuality Research Initiative is a research initiative at the School of International Service at American University.

Interrogating ideas, norms, movements, policies, and discourses related to gender and sexuality as crucial to understanding global politics.

Gender and sexuality have become some of the most salient topics today for both academics and policymakers alike in global politics. SIS's Gender & Sexuality Research initiative exists to unveil, analyze, complicate and thoughtfully guide discussion on critical question of gender and sexuality in global politics today. This research initiative brings together scholars who interrogate questions related to social movements, gender and development, gender equality policy, women's rights, and LGBTQ+ rights, across various theoretical, epistemological, and methodological approaches. We produce leading scholarship and commentary on topics related to gender and sexuality in global politics and, crucially, we focus on affecting real-world change toward promoting equality.

Research Pillars
Our Team
Student Opportunities

This initiative delves into four research pillars that interrogate the role of gender and sexuality in global politics through various areas of interest for scholars of global politics:

  1. Social Movements
  2. Gender and Development
  3. Gender Equality Policy, Discourse & Representation
  4. LGBTQ+ Rights

Through each pillar, our scholars will critically engage in crucial scholarship and policy conversations which highlights the critical role of gender and sexuality in the study and practice of global politics.

Explore each pillar

The Gender & Sexuality Research Initiative is led by Alexandria Wilson-McDonald. We are a passionate and motivated community. Interested in joining the team? Reach out to Dr. Wilson-McDonald at

Meet the team

SIS's commitment to fostering rich student experiences inside and outside the classroom extends to our research initiatives. The Gender & Sexuality Research Initiative has opportunities for students at the undergraduate and graduate level to engage with our work and grow your own knowledge and understanding of this vital area of study.

Get involved


governments around the world that have formally adopted feminist foreign policies.