Ann Towns, Principal Investigator of the GenDip program, is professor of political science in the Department of Political Science, University of Gothenburg. She holds a prestigious Wallenberg Academy Fellowship since 2013, and her work with gender and diplomacy was awarded a Bertha Lutz Prize from the International Studies Association in 2018. She received her PhD in political science, with a PhD minor in feminist studies, from the University of Minnesota (2004). She has since held faculty positions at the University of Delaware (2007-2010) and University West (2010-2014), before she joined the University of Gothenburg in 2014. She was a visiting scholar at Georgetown University in 2017-2018.
Professor Towns’ research probes questions about norms, international hierarchies and resistance in international politics, generally with a focus on gender. She is currently conducting a large research project on the intersection of international hierarchies and gender norms and practices in diplomacy, an inter-state institution that has long been dominated by men but where more women have entered within the past decade. As part of this project, she has carried out field work among diplomats in D.C. during 2017-2018 and will do so among diplomats in Stockholm during 2019. Her work on gender and diplomacy has been awarded a 6-year Wallenberg Academy Fellowship by the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation, as well as a 5-year grant and a 3-year grant from the Swedish Research Council. In 2018, her work on gender and diplomacy was awarded the Bertha Lutz Prize from the International Studies Association.
Towns is the author of Women and States: Norms and Hierarchies in International Society (2010, Cambridge University Press) and co-editor with Karin Aggestam of a volume entitled Gendering Diplomacy and International Cooperation (2018, Palgrave MacMillan). Her research has also appeared in International Organization, European Journal of International Relations, Millennium, Party Politics, NORA, Cooperation & Conflict and Women & Politics, and more. Towns is associate editor of International Studies Quarterly and a member of the editorial boards of Cambridge Studies in Gender and Politics, Politics and Internasjonal Politikk.