Cindy Simon Rosenthal is director and curator of the Carl Albert Congressional Research and Studies Center at The University of Oklahoma and professor of political science with a joint appointment to the women’s studies faculty. Professor Rosenthal has been a member of the Center faculty since 1998 and initially served as associate director, overseeing the Center’s undergraduate programs. Under her leadership, the Center developed its highly successful N.E.W. (National Education for Women’s) Leadership, a program to educate, inspire, and empower undergraduate women to enter public service and politics. N.E.W. Leadership and the Center's companion programs under the umbrella of the Women's Leadership Initiative have been honored each year by Oklahoma’s Journal-Record “Woman of the Year” celebration as a program “making a difference.”
Professor Rosenthal’s research and teaching interests focus on women in politics, public sector and legislative leadership, state-local government and intergovernmental relations, and public policy issues involving gender inequality. She is co-author (with Ronald M. Peters, Jr.) of Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the New American Politics(Oxford University Press, 2010). She edited Women Transforming Congress (University of Oklahoma Press, 2002) and is the author of When Women Lead (Oxford University Press, 1998). In 1996, the Women and Politics Section of the American Political Science Association recognized her dissertation on institutional constraints and leadership styles of men and women in state legislatures as the best in the field of women in politics. Her work has also been recognized with the Sophonisba Breckinridge Award given for the best paper on women and politics at the Midwest Political Science Association meeting. She contributed chapters to The Oklahoma Almanac of Politics (1998, 1999), Women and Elective Office (1998, 2005), Women in Higher Education: Empowering Change (2002), Women and Elective Office (2005), Voices from the Heartland (2007), Legislative Women: Getting Elected, Getting Ahead (2008), and The Handbook on Gender and Women’s Leadership (2009). Her work also has appeared in Political Research Quarterly, Politics and Gender, PS: Political Science and Politics, Social Science Quarterly, Policy Studies Journal, Legislative Studies Quarterly, State & Local Government Review, Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, and Women & Politics.
Professor Rosenthal served three years on the Norman City Council (2004 - 2007) before being elected as mayor in 2007. Serving three mayoral terms, from 2007 to 2016, she is the second-longest serving mayor in the history of Norman, Oklahoma.