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Meet the Director

Message from the director

Emerald Archer

Welcome to the Center for the Advancement of Women at Mount Saint Mary's University!

The Center launched in 2017 and I am honored to serve as the inaugural director. As a women’s university founded on the belief that women are capable of greatness, issues such as gender parity, equitable opportunity and women’s leadership are woven into our fabric.

This is why we host public conversations on gender inequities and women’s education. This is why our faculty and staff create innovative programs that call out injustices, seek solutions to inequities and give women the tools of empowerment.

The Center for the Advancement of Women builds on this legacy and acts as a hub for gender equity research, advocacy and leadership in Southern California. Our goal is bold: In partnership with a diverse coalition of partners, we will work to eradicate gender discrimination in our lifetime. We are already hard at work.

Our research and advocacy is made manifest in our annual publication of The Report on the Status of Women and Girls in California™. Over the past eight years, The Report has shown that women have made incredible progress in many California sectors, but striking gender gaps remain.

The good news? By recognizing these gaps, we can take steps toward finding important solutions to gender inequity. Our yearly comprehensive compilation of current research focused on the issues and trends affecting the more than 19 million California women and girls is used by policymakers, agencies, foundations and journalists to advocate on behalf of women and girls across the state.

The Center also conducts original research, including our annual anthology Collectif, which features original work by faculty and staff. The Center also connects external researchers with resources to generate original, independent research. We put all of that research to use at our public gatherings that run the gamut: from seminars on how to run your own political campaign to professional development workshops and conferences on how to be resilient, efficient leaders in times of change. Our goal is to provide you with the resources, networks and tools to empower women and girls in your communities. Join us in our mission to support the next generation of unstoppable women.


Emerald Archer, PhD
Director, Center for the Advancement of Women

About the director  

Emerald Archer, PhD, was named director of the new Center for the Advancement of Women in early 2017.

As director, Dr. Archer is dedicated to gathering data across the University’s departments and through original research, in addition to advocating for solutions to persistent gender inequities. To eradicate gender inequity in our lifetime, she collaborates with partners, shares timely research and speaks on topics such as:

  • Gender equity and parity
  • Women's health 
  • Women's leadership 
  • Women’s access to career opportunities
  • Stereotype threat
  • Civic design 
  • Underserved and under-resourced communities
  • Cultural shifts 
  • Women’s representation in non-traditional and emerging sectors (e.g., military and STEM).

To book Dr. Archer for your next event, contact her at or 213.477.2544.

Past speaking events

  • "The Gender Wage Gap: Implicit Bias in the Workplace and the Process of Cumulative Disadvantage." WorkHuman. Austin, Texas. April 2018.
  • "International Women’s Day + Gender Equity in California." Southern California Edison. Diversity & Inclusion, Ethics & Compliance. Rosemead, Calif.: March 2018.
  • "The Report on the Status of Women and Girls in California™ + Creating More Equitable Workplaces." Hulu. Santa Monica, Calif.: February 2018.
  • “The EmpowHERment Project: Understanding Implicit Bias and Elevating Women in the Beauty Industry.” Luxury Brand Partners regional council meeting. Los Angeles: June 2017.
  • “Mount Saint Mary’s University & Ready to Run.” California Federation of Women’s Club 2017 state convention. Costa Mesa, Calif.: May 2017.
  • “The Status of Women and Girls in California.” California Federation of Women’s Club 2017 state convention. Costa Mesa, Calif.: May 2017.
  • “Workplace Gender Equality and Economic Advancement for Women.” West Hollywood Women’s Leadership Conference. West Hollywood, Calif.: May 2017.
  • “Empowering Women to Be Bold.” Southern California Edison Women’s Roundtable. Rosemead, Calif.: March 2017.
  • “Rethinking Power: Beyond the CEO.” Woodbury Women’s Leadership Conference, Burbank, Calif.: March 2014.

In the media

Bio: Emerald Archer, PhD

Emerald Archer, PhD, is the inaugural director of the Center for the Advancement of Women at Mount Saint Mary’s University, which serves as a hub for research, advocacy and leadership development. The Center promotes gender equity to make a positive difference in the lives of women and girls in California and throughout the nation.

Prior to joining Mount Saint Mary’s, Archer served as the associate dean of the College of Liberal Arts and as a faculty member in the politics and history department at Woodbury University. She has dedicated her research to gender equity, stereotype threat and women’s representation in non-traditional sectors.

Archer has published nine peer-reviewed articles in national journals and released a book in August 2017, published by Bloomsbury, which explores women’s history in the United States military: "Women, Warfare and Representation: American Servicewomen in the Twentieth Century." In addition to being a seasoned and engaging presenter and keynote speaker, she is also a contributing expert to media outlets like NPR.

Archer has been the recipient of numerous fellowships, including the Faculty Development Award and Senior Fellows Award from Woodbury University, the Silberman Follow-Up Fellowship from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., and a Carnegie Corporation of New York Fellowship. She holds a PhD in political science from the University of California, Santa Barbara.