Leah Wright Rigueur is an assistant professor of public policy at the Harvard Kennedy School. She is an expert on race, politics, and contemporary history, and her research interests include US political and social history, African American political and social history, civil rights, political ideology, the American presidency, the American two-party system, and social movements. She is the author of the award-winning book The Loneliness of the Black Republican: Pragmatic Politics and the Pursuit of Power (Princeton University Press, 2014).
While at Radcliffe, Rigueur is working on a book project, “Black Men in a White House,” that explores the roots of contemporary racial and political polarization through an examination of the tumultuous racial and political politics of the 1980s and 1990s. Her research looks at the national transformation of political ideologies, social and political movements of the left and the right, and the racial politics of the GOP and the Democratic Party. Of particular interest are those racial and civil rights issues and policies that cut across the elite and grassroots level, including domestic economics, social welfare, housing, and crime and justice.
Rigueur holds a PhD in history from Princeton University and a BA in history from Dartmouth College. Her research, writing, and commentary has been featured in a number of different outlets, including the Atlantic, MSNBC, the New York Times, NPR, PBS, Polity, the Social Science Research Council, and the Washington Post.