Professor Zechmeister is Cornelius Vanderbilt Professor of Political Science; Director of the LAPOP Lab; Associate Provost, Office of Research & Innovation; and Co-Director of the Accountability, Behavior, Conflict, and Democratic Politics REU. Dr. Zechmeister is current chair of the Comparative Study of Electoral Systems (CSES) Planning Committee. She is former vice president and president of the Elections, Public Opinion, and Voting Behavior section of the American Political Science Association. She has served as an expert and co-lead moderator on a National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) panel on public opinion measurement and analysis.
Dr. Zechmeister’s research and teaching focus on comparative public opinion and political behavior. She has published studies of voting, ideology, political parties, representation, gender, charisma, and crisis. Her work has been supported by numerous grants, including multiple grants from the U.S. National Science Foundation. Her research has appeared in the American Political Science Review, American Journal of Political Science, Comparative Political Studies, Journal of Politics, Electoral Studies, and Political Behavior, among others. She is co-author of Democracy at Risk: How Terrorist Threats Affect the Public (University of Chicago Press, 2009) and Latin American Party Systems (Cambridge University Press, 2010). She is co-editor of The Latin American Voter: Pursuing Representation and Accountability in Challenging Contexts (University of Michigan Press, 2015). In 2022, for her contributions in research, Zechmeister was awarded Vanderbilt’s Earl Sutherland Prize for Achievement in Research.
Dr. Zechmeister actively engages with students in research and teaching. She founded the LAPOP Fellows immersion program for Vanderbilt students and is co-director of an NSF-supported Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) summer program. Zechmeister has won four awards for teaching and mentoring at Vanderbilt: the Jeffrey Nordhaus Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching (2012), an Excellence in Graduate Teaching Award (2015), the Madison Sarratt Prize for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching (2022), and the Margaret Cuninggim Women’s Center Mentoring Award (2022).