Leslie Schwindt-Bayer is a professor of political science at Rice University. She conducts research on an array of topics in comparative and Latin American politics—presidents, legislatures, elections, representation, corruption, and women and gender politics.


Currently, she is working on projects related to women’s representation in Latin America and researching how women’s representation and political institutions provide incentives for democracies to reduce corruption.

Leslie Schwindt-Bayer is the Albert Thomas Chair and Associate Professor of Political Science at Rice University. She conducts research on an array of topics in comparative and Latin American politics—presidents, legislatures, elections, representation, corruption, and women and gender politics.


Currently, she is working on projects related to women’s representation in Latin America, Spain, and Portugal and researching how women’s representation and political institutions provide incentives for democracies to reduce corruption.


Professor Schwindt-Bayer has published her research in numerous journals, including the American Journal of Political Science, Journal of Politics, British Journal of Political Science, Legislative Studies Quarterly, Electoral Studies, Comparative Political Studies, Politics & Gender, and Journal of Politics in Latin America. In 2010, she published her first book, Political Power and Women's Representation in Latin America, with Oxford University Press. In 2012, she co-authored The Gendered Effects of Electoral Institutions (with Miki Kittilson; Oxford University Press), and in 2016, she published Clarity of Responsibility, Accountability, and Corruption (Cambridge University Press) with Margit Tavits.


Professor Schwindt-Bayer earned her Ph.D. in Political Science at the University of Arizona in May 2003 and was an assistant professor for four years at the University of Mississippi and an assistant/associate professor for six years at the University of Missouri before moving to Rice University in the fall of 2014. She was a Visiting Fellow at the Kellogg Institute for International Studies at the University of Notre Dame in Fall 2008. At Rice, she also is a Faculty Scholar with the Latin America Initiative at the Baker Institute, a Faculty Affiliate in the Center for the Study of Women, Gender, and Sexuality, and an affiliated faculty member with the Latin American Studies major.