PhD Candidate, Department of Government, Harvard University
Expertise & Civic Involvements
Williamson’s research focuses on the politics of taxation in America. She worked at the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America from 2004 to 2010, serving as their Policy Director from 2007.
Co-Authored with Theda Skocpol, SSN Key Findings, February 2013
Co-Authored with Alexander Hertel-Fernandez, SSN Basic Facts, November 2012
Co-Authored with Theda Skocpol, SSN Key Findings, October 2011
The Tea Party and the Remaking of Republican Conservatism (with ) (Oxford University Press, 2012). Shows how grassroots activism, elite funders and policy advocates, and the right-wing media interact to allow the Tea Party to boost the GOP and prod it to the right. Includes interviews with grass roots activists and an analysis of the role of the Tea Party in the 2010 and 2012 elections.
- "The Tea Party and the Remaking of Republican Conservatism" (with ). Perspectives on Politics 9, no. 1 (2011): 25-43.
- "How Bush-Appointed Ivy Leaguer Ted Cruz Became a Tea Party Darling," Talking Points Memo, March 25, 2015.
- Vanessa Williamson quoted on Tea Party stance on immigration in Elias Isquith, "Tom Coburn’s Lunacy and the Real Meaning of the Immigration Fight" Salon, November 20, 2014.
- Vanessa Williamson's research on conservative media (with Theda Skocpol) discussed in , "Fox News' Divisive Race Strategy: How O'Reilly, Hannity and Coulter Intentionally Tore America Apart," Salon, May 17, 2014.
- Vanessa Williamson quoted on their book, "The Tea Party and the Remaking of Republican Conservatism", "The Ten Best Political Books of 2012" The New Yorker, December 14, 2012.
- Interview on The Tea Party and the Remaking of Republican Conservatism, The Rachel Maddow Show, December 9, 2011.
Talks and Briefings
- "We are the 99%: from Frustration to Occupation," (with Marshall Ganz, Todd Gitlen, and the Hon. Ed Rendell), Panel at the Harvard Kennedy School Institute of Politics, October 13, 2011.
- "The Tea Party and the Remaking of Republican Conservatism," Allegheny College Center for Political Participation, September 22, 2011.
- "Media Outreach to Veterans and Access to VA Services," Testimony before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Veterans Affairs, Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, July 15, 2008.