Barbara Lee Family Foundation

The Barbara Lee Family Foundation advances women’s equality and representation in American politics and contemporary art. For twenty five years, BLFF has conducted nonpartisan research on women in politics. Our work is guided by our core belief that women’s voices strengthen our democracy and enrich our culture.

25 Years of Research on Women in Politics

The Barbara Lee Family Foundation is the only organization dedicated to specifically studying women running for executive office on both sides of the aisle. For over two decades, elected officials, candidates, practitioners, and press have used Barbara Lee Family Foundation research to better understand the obstacles and opportunities that women in politics encounter.

Our Research

Second in Command: The Challenges and Opportunities Facing Women Lieutenant Governors (2023)

SECOND IN COMMAND finds that most voters believe lieutenant governors are qualified to serve as governor—and that the office prepares women candidates to serve as governor. In that way, the path forward is clear.

Gender on the Ballot

The Barbara Lee Family Foundation and the Women & Politics Institute at American University are proud to partner for Gender on the Ballot, a nonpartisan project to examine and contextualize gender dynamics in politics. As the conversation and culture around running for office in the United States continues to evolve, Gender on the Ballot contributes to the national dialogue on gender and politics through accessible content from experts and practitioners.

Our Research

Shared Hurdles: How Political Races Change When Two Women Compete

With more and more women running for office, races between women candidates will become the norm — not a novelty. Shared Hurdles reveals how candidates’ race, political party, and gender interact to influence voter opinion when more than one woman is on the ballot.

Women don't run for office looking for fame or fortune, they run to make a difference.

Barbara Lee