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Dr. Steffen Schmidt selected as William J. Clinton Distinguished Lecturer


The University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service selected Dr. Steffen Schmidt, University Professor in Iowa State’s political science department, to speak as a William J. Clinton Distinguished Lecturer in their upcoming focus on the Iowa Caucus.

Schmidt, also known as “Dr. Politics,” was selected based on his international reputation as an expert in American politics, especially the caucus process. He joins other distinguished lecturers such as President Paul Kagame of Rwanda; former Prime Minister of Canada Kim Campbell; former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and Henry Kissinger; Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer; civil rights icon Ruby Bridges; Nobel Laureates Muhammad Yunus, Wangari Maathai; and Leymah Gbowee; presidential advisers Harriett Miers; Karl Rove; and President and Secretary Clinton.

“When I received the invitation to speak at the Clinton School of Public Service at the University of Arkansas,” said Schmidt, “I thought – any time I get a gig where Karl Rove, James Carville, Madeleine Albright and Henry Kissinger have previously talked, I know I’ve died and went to Political Science Heaven!”

The first school in the nation to offer a Master of Public Service (MPS) degree, the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service gives students the knowledge and experience to further their careers in the areas of nonprofit, governmental, volunteer or private sector service.

In addition to being recognized as a foremost expert on Iowa caucuses, Schmidt is also a global expert on politics. Dr. Schmidt regularly reports on American politics for the largest Venezuelan newspaper, is contracted by Turner Broadcasting for regular election commentary for CNN en Espanol, and consults international media such as Agence France; Press, EFE, the largest news agency in Spain; the BBC; and Deutsche Welle radio. He is also Chief Political Correspondent for and maintains multiple blogs.

Schmidt coauthored American Government and Politics Today, which became the most widely adopted American Government college textbook in the United States. Now in its 18th edition, it was one of the first e-books on American government, and soon expanded to include Internet toolkits for students and instructors.

Integrating online technology and research in distance education strategies, Dr. Schmidt launched the first ISU Massive Open Online Course (MOOC), about the Iowa Presidential Caucuses, on Sept. 1, 2015. The course analyzes Iowa’s first-in-the-nation caucus presidential candidate selection process, the role of the media, and the future of Iowa Presidential Caucus.