Professor Heldman earned her Ph.D. in Political Science from Rutgers University and specializes in the American presidency and systems of power. She previously taught at Whittier College, Fairfield University, and Rutgers University. Professor Heldman graduated summa cum laude with a degree in Business Management from Washington State University, and has worked extensively in the private sector, including as the General Manager of Bio-Energy Systems and Research Manager for Consumer Health Sciences.
Dr. Heldman has made over 500 media appearances as a political and social commentator, including appearances on the Katie Couric Show and the Rosie (O’Donnell) Show. Dr. Heldman also worked on the documentary film projects The Mask You Live In, Missrepresentation, Aftermath: New Orleans in the Wake of Hurricane Katrina, and Informant.
Dr. Heldman’s research has been featured in the top journals in her field, including the American Political Science Review, the Journal of Politics, Political Psychology, and Political Communications. She co-edited the popular book, Rethinking Madame President (2007). Dr. Heldman’s work has also been featured in popular publications, including the New York Times, U.S. News and World Report, Ms. Magazine, The Huffington Post, and The Daily Beast.
Dr. Heldman has been active in “real world” politics as a congressional staffer, campaign manager, and campaign consultant. Professor Heldman drove to New Orleans the week after Hurricane Katrina to assist with rescue and relief efforts. She co-founded the New Orleans Women’s Shelter and the Lower Ninth Ward Living Museum.
Dr. Heldman has also been active in the new campus anti-rape movement. She was the lead Title IX complainant against Occidental College, co-founded the Oxy Sexual Assault Coalition with student Audrey Logan, co-founded End Rape on Campus (EROC), and co-founded Faculty Against Rape (FAR). She works with survivor activists across the nation to hold their schools accountable.
Master Heldman holds a 4th degree black-belt in Tae Kwon Do, and has received other awards and honors, including: regional finalist for the White House Fellowship (2008); the V-to-the-10th Award for her work in New Orleans (2008); a Proclamation from the City of Whittier (2005) for her fundraising efforts for domestic violence prevention; a Gracie Award for excellence in broadcasting for the documentary Women in Government (2008); the Key to the College (Whittier, 2004); and the National Achievement Award for the promotion and popularization of Tae Kwon Do (2001).
She lives in Los Angeles and New Orleans with her partner, E, and their four kitties — Shredder, Puffin, Zora, and Bashful.