Patricia Ann Stapleton

Photo of Patricia Stapleton
Political Scientist
Off Site Office


Ph.D. in political science, City University of New York; M.Phil in political science, City University of New York; M.A. in French Literature, Rutgers University; B.A. in French, Ursinus College


Patricia Stapleton (she/her) is a comparative political science and public policy scholar at RAND. Her research interests include emerging technologies, risk assessment and communication, food security, and public health. In particular, Stapleton's academic work has focused on the regulation of biotechnology in food production and assisted reproductive technologies - with recent attention to CRISPR and human germline editing. She uses qualitative methods and an historical institutionalist approach to examine the factors impacting the development of risk regulation (i.e., timing, political and institutional contexts, and public opinion). More recently, her work has engaged with questions in food security, particularly in the context of climate change. Stapleton holds a PhD and MPhil in political science from the CUNY Graduate Center, as well as an MA in French literature from Rutgers University.

Previous Positions

Assistant Professor of Political Science at Worcester Polytechnic Institute; Director of the Society, Technology, & Policy Program at Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Selected Publications

Patricia Stapleton and Daniel Skinner, "Cross-Border Reproductive Care: Two Lenses in Political Science," World Medical & Health Policy, 10(4), 2018

Patricia Stapleton, "From Mad Cows to GMOs: The Side Effects of Modernization," European Journal of Risk Regulation, 7(3), 2016

Patricia Stapleton and Daniel Skinner, "The Affordable Care Act and assisted reproductive technology use," Politics and the Life Sciences, 34(2), 2015

Patricia Stapleton and Andrew Byers, eds. , Biopolitics and Utopia: An Interdisciplinary Reader, Palgrave Macmillan, 2015




  • Children pick up lunch at the Olympic Hills Elementary School, after schools were closed due to the COVID-19 outbreak, in Seattle, Washington, March 17, 2020, photo by Brian Snyder/Reuters

    Food Access: Challenges and Solutions Brought on by COVID-19

    For the 14.3 million American households already experiencing food insecurity before the pandemic, shutdowns and restrictions have created new layers of hardship. Tremendous efforts are already underway to help. But the weeks to come will surely demand more creative solutions from the public and private sectors.

    Mar 31, 2020 The RAND Blog