Miller Center

Barbara Perry

Portrait of Barbara Perry

Email: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Phone: 434-243-1123

Barbara A. Perry is the White Burkett Miller Professor of Ethics and Institutions at the University of Virginia’s Miller Center, where she is Director of Presidential Studies and Co-Chair of the Presidential Oral History Program.  She is also the Project Director of the Edward M. Kennedy Oral History Project.

Previously, Professor Perry was the Carter Glass Professor of Government and founding director of the Center for Civic Renewal at Sweet Briar College in Virginia.  In 1994-95 she served as the Judicial Fellow at the U.S. Supreme Court, where she received the Justice Tom C. Clark Award as the outstanding fellow that year.  In addition to providing research for Chief Justice William Rehnquist’s speeches, she briefed more than 3,000 visitors to the Court, from 70 different countries.  Professor Perry was the Senior Fellow for Civics Education at the University of Louisville’s McConnell Center in 2006-07, where she is currently a Non-Resident Fellow.  From 1996 through 2008 she taught in the Supreme Court Summer Institute, co-sponsored by the Supreme Court Historical Society and Street Law.  In 2012 she received the Virginia Social Science Association’s Scholar Award in Political Science.  The Sons of the American Revolution, Virginia Society, awarded her their 2013 Silver Good Citizenship Medal for “her outstanding achievements in the study, writing, and teaching of American history.”  The University of Louisville’s College of Arts and Sciences named her the 2014 Alumna Fellow of the Year.

Among Professor Perry’s 13 authored or edited books are Rose Kennedy: The Life and Times of a Political Matriarch (W.W. Norton 2013; finalist for the Library of Virginia 2014 Annual Literary Award in non-fiction); 42: Inside the Presidency of Bill Clinton (co-edited with Michael Nelson and Russell Riley, Cornell, forthcoming 2016); 41: Inside the Presidency of George H. W. Bush (co-edited with Michael Nelson, Cornell 2014); Edward M. Kennedy Oral History Project (UVA and Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the U.S. Senate 2015); George H. W. Bush Oral History Project (UVA and George Bush Presidential Library Foundation 2011); “The Supremes”: An Introduction to the United States Supreme Court Justices, 2nd ed. (Peter Lang 2009); The Michigan Affirmative Action Cases (University Press of Kansas 2007); Jacqueline Kennedy: First Lady of the New Frontier (University Press of Kansas 2004); The Priestly Tribe: The Supreme Court’s Image in the American Mind (Praeger 1999; winner of a 2001 Choice Award); A “Representative” Supreme Court?  The Impact of Race, Religion, and Gender on Appointments (Greenwood 1991); and, with Henry J. Abraham, Freedom and the Court: Civil Rights and Liberties in the United States, 8th edition (University Press of Kansas 2003).

The author of more than 35 articles/book chapters, Professor Perry has lectured throughout the United States and is a frequent media commentator on public affairs for CBS, PBS, CNN, C-SPAN, MS-NBC, NPR, PRI, Fox News, BBC, Canadian Broadcasting Corp., Swiss TV, HuffPost Live, The Morning Rundown, The Andrea Mitchell Report, The NewsHour, The Diane Rehm Show, the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Sunday Times of London, USA Today, Bloomberg News, the Daily Beast, and the Associated Press.  She has been invited to participate in the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of International Information Programs and lectures for the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, for whom she taught a 2015 on-line graduate course on the Kennedy presidency.  From 2010-14 she served as an adjunct faculty member at the Federal Executive Institute in Charlottesville, providing seminars to senior federal executives on the Kennedy presidency, the U.S. Supreme Court, and leadership. 

A native of Louisville, Kentucky, Professor Perry earned a Ph.D. in government from the University of Virginia, an M.A. in politics, philosophy, and economics from Oxford University, and a B.A. in political science, with highest honors, from the University of Louisville.

Download full CV

← Full staff list