Lyn Ragsdale is the Dean of the Social Sciences at Rice University, the first woman to hold this position. She is also the Radoslav Tsanoff Professor of Public Affairs and Professor of Political Science. Previously, she was the head of the Political Science Department at the University of Illinois at Chicago from 2001 to 2006, after having been on the faculty of the University of Arizona for 20 years. Professor Ragsdale received her Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin—Madison in 1982. She is the past president of the Western Political Science Association and has served as the editor of the Political Research Quarterly. She has been a fellow at the Russell Sage Foundation and worked on Capitol Hill. She has written four books and numerous articles on the American presidency and electoral behavior. Her most recent book, Vital Statistics on the Presidency was published in its third edition this year. Her current research is about the major decisions of American presidents and American non-voters.