Karen L. Owen is an assistant professor of political science and the director of the Thomas B. Murphy Center for Public Service at the University of West Georgia. She is a gender politics, American institutions, and elections scholar. She has published articles on congressional elections, state legislative partisanship, and women serving in legislative and judicial positions. Her book, Women Officeholders and the Role Models who Pioneered the Way, examines how female role models motivate female state legislators to run for Congress and state governorships. Prior to her academic career, she worked as a legislative assistant for a U.S. Representative from Georgia, as a lobbyist at a Fortune 500 company, and as a public health legislative analyst at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.