Wasem, Ruth E. | LBJ School of Public Affairs | The University of Texas at Austin
Education
  • Ph.D. in History, University of Michigan, 1990
  • M.A. in History, University of Michigan, 1978
  • B.A. in History, Political Science and Psychology, Muskingum College, 1976
Research Areas
  • Immigration, Asylum and Citizenship
  • Legislative Development
  • Unemployment and Social Welfare
Teaching Areas
  • Policy Process and Institutions
  • Social Policy
  • Finance, Management and Leadership (including non-profits)

Ruth Wasem teaches policy development courses on immigration, citizenship, refugees and legislative development. She is affiliated with the Institute for Urban Policy Research and Analysis and the Rapoport Center for Human Rights and Justice.

For over 25 years, Dr. Wasem was a policy specialist at the Library of Congress's Congressional Research Service. She has testified before the U.S. Congress on asylum policy, immigration, human rights and unauthorized migration. She is a fellow at the Bipartisan Policy Center and as a contributing opinion writer for TheHill.com.

Dr. Wasem's research on asylum has resulted in two articles in 2020: "More than a Wall: The Rise and Fall of U..S Asylum and Refugee Policy," in the Journal of Migration and Human Security, and "At the Nexus of Refugee and Labour Migration: U.S. Refugee Policy Formulation after the Second World War," in the Journal of Migration History.

She has published "The Undertow of Reforming Immigration" for A Nation of Immigrants Reconsidered: The U.S. in an Age of Restriction, 1924-1965, (University of Illinois Press, 2019). She also is writing Ebb and Flow: U.S. Immigration Policy over Time (Wiley Blackwell, forthcoming). Other recent publications include "Immigration Governance for the 21st Century" in the Journal of Migration and Human Security (Sage, 2018); and Tackling Unemployment: The Legislative Dynamics of the Employment Act of 1946 (Upjohn Institute Press, 2013).

Dr. Wasem directed a policy research project (PRP) that resulted in the publication Welcoming Communities: Immigrant Incorporation in Dallas, TX (2020). This research project on immigrant incorporation has expanded to San Antonio and its peer cities.

She has appeared on NPR's "All Things Considered"; PRI's "The World"; KUT's "Morning Edition"; Texas Public Radio and The Texas Standard, and been cited in The Atlantic, The Wall Street Journal and Dallas Morning News, among other publications.

Media Expertise
  • Immigration

Newsworthy

NewsOctober 26, 2020
Elections 2020: LBJ School Faculty Experts

Faculty from the LBJ School of Public Affairs are nationally and internationally recognized scholars and experts across a range of major policy topics, including the 2020 election at the local, state and federal levels. View our 2020 election experts guide below.

Where to watch LBJ School faculty 

Pre-election

Friday, Oct. 30: Steven Pedigo joins Fox 7 Austin for a special newscast on Propositions A and B; Airs at approximately 6 p.m. CT

Read More
September 30, 2020
Post Presidential Debate Roundtable with the LBJ School

We are only a few weeks from a historic presidential election. The two candidates will face off on Tuesday, Sept. 29 for the first of three presidential debates, where topics will include: Trump's and Biden's records, the Supreme Court, COVID-19, the economy, race and violence in U.S. cities, and the integrity of the election. Assistant Dean for Civic Engagement Dr. Victoria DeFrancesco Soto led a roundtable discussion and analysis of the debate and each candidates' policies and performance with LBJ School and UT faculty.

Read More
Media MentionSeptember 16, 2020
Dallas celebrates Welcoming Week by 'Creating Home Together'

Professor and leading domestic policy expert Ruth Wasem, alongside graduate public policy students, worked with the city of Dallas to assess how it compares to other major U.S. cities on immigrant inclusion and offer policy tools to foster the incorporation of immigrants in Dallas. Research methodology and findings, as well as recommendations for Dallas to advance in immigrant inclusivity, will be discussed.

Read More