As America gears up for an inauguration like no other, Virginia Tech offers a team of experts available to discuss the challenges and significance of this place in history.

  • Kamala Harris makes history as she becomes the nation’s first female vice president. Farida Jalalzai’s research focuses on the representation and behavior of women and minorities in politics and the role of gender in the political arena. Jalalzai is a professor of political science and the author of three books on women in politics.   
  • The ongoing pandemic makes this inauguration unlike any in U.S. history. Virginia Tech professor of history E. Thomas Ewing studies the history of influenza epidemics, particularly the 1918 flu pandemic. He can discuss the differences between now and a century ago, with the 1921 inauguration.
  • Donald Trump will be remembered as the first president to be impeached twice. Laura Belmonte, professor of history and dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, is available to discuss the long and complicated list of what else goes into the legacy of the outgoing president. 
  • What’s the outlook for a new approach to foreign relations under a Biden administration? Yannis Stivachtis is a professor of political science and director of the International Studies Program at Virginia Tech.
  •  Karen Hult, a political science professor who serves on the advisory board to the White House Transition Project, can discuss the Trump / Biden transition, Trump’s impeachments, and political implications of recent events. 
  • Brandy Faulkner, a professor of Black Studies and an assistant professor of political science at Virginia Tech, can discuss race and politics. Her areas of specialization include constitutional and administrative law, race and public policy, and critical organization theory.
  • Lisa M. Lee, an epidemiologist and public health expert at Virginia Tech, can discuss Biden’s response to the pandemic, public health, andCOVID-19 vaccines. Lee has worked in public health and ethics at the local, state, and federal levels, including 14 years at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
  • David Bieri, an associate professor of urban affairs in the School of Public and International Affairs, can speak to Biden’s economic plan and its impact on the global economy. His areas of expertise are at the intersection of public finance, monetary theory, and economic geography.

To schedule an interview contact Shannon Andrea by email, or by phone at 703-399-9494, or Bill Foy by email, or by phone at 540-998-0288.

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