Welcome to the Tower Center

A Message from the Director

The John Goodwin Tower Center for Political Studies is dedicated to the interdisciplinary study of public policy and international affairs, the advancement of public service and the education of the next generation of leaders. Since its creation in 1992, the Tower Center has sought to bridge the gap between ideas, scholarship and teaching and the real-world practice of politics and public policy. The Center's vision has been realized as a result of our Board leadership, beginning with founding Board Chair Annette Strauss, and continuing through our current Board Chair Dan Branch.

The Center is committed to the ideals of the late U.S. Senator and SMU alumnus John Goodwin Tower '53. Both a transformative political figure and a college professor, Senator Tower left a legacy as a leader, educator and public servant. His leadership in national security policy and international politics reflected his lifelong devotion to learning and scholarship. The Tower Center honors his commitment to public service and his dedication to inspiring and educating students as future public servants and engaged citizens. 

During its lifetime, the Tower Center has increased in prominence as an internationally recognized resource for information and ideas about public policy. The Center provides insights and perspectives that contribute to scholarship and public debate on a broad range of issues.

The Center fulfills its mission through teaching and research, and by hosting lectures and sponsoring conferences featuring prominent scholars and public officials from around the United States and the world. 

The Tower Center is housed in SMU's Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, where minds are moving the world. It is closely connected to a number of departments within the College, especially political science, international and area studies, public policy and other social science disciplines. 


James F. Hollifield
Professor of Political Science
Director of the John Goodwin Tower Center for Political Studies