Leah Wright Rigueur

Leah Wright Rigueur

Assistant Professor of Public Policy at the Kennedy School at Harvard University
Fall 2018: Sheila Biddle Ford Foundation Fellow
Leah Wright Rigueur

Leah Wright Rigueur is an Assistant Professor of Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. She is the author of the award-winning book, The Loneliness of the Black Republican: Pragmatic Politics and the Pursuit of Power (PUP 2015). An historian by training, she received her B.A. in History from Dartmouth College and her M.A. and Ph.D. in History from Princeton University. Her research interests include 20th Century United States political and social history and modern African American history, with an emphasis on race, civil rights, political ideology, political institutions, social movements, and the American presidency.

Leah’s research, writing, and commentary are featured regularly in a variety of outlets including NPR, PBS, MSNBC, CBS News, the New York Times, the Atlantic, the Washington Post, Polity, Souls, and the Journal of Federal History. Her research has been supported by fellowships from the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research, the Dirksen Congressional Center, the Presidential Libraries at the National Archives and Records Administration, the Social Science Research Council, and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Currently, Leah is working on a new book project, Mourning in America: Black Men in a White House, which explores the intersection of race, class, and politics in the presidential administration of Ronald Reagan, by way of the Housing and Urban Development (HUD) corruption scandal of the 1980s and the professional and personal experiences of Housing Secretary Samuel R. Pierce, Jr.

As the Sheila Biddle Ford Foundation Fellow in Fall 2018, she will work on Black Men in a White House.