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Gavora, Jessica

Gavora, Jessica

PERSONAL: Married Jonah Goldberg (an editor); children: one.

ADDRESSES: Office—Independent Women's Forum, 1726 M St. NW, 10th Fl., Washington, DC 20036.

CAREER: Has held a variety of positions, including chief speechwriter to U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft, senior policy advisor at Department of Justice, and director of Independent Women's Forum Play Fair! Project; New Citizenship Project, Washington, DC, currently director of programs.

AWARDS, HONORS: Lincoln fellow, Claremont Institute, 1996.


Tilting the Playing Field: Schools, Sports, Sex, and Title IX, Encounter Books (San Francisco, CA), 2002.

Contributor to periodicals, including Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Weekly Standard, and Women's Quarterly. Editor of quarterly journal Philanthropy.

SIDELIGHTS: Writer Jessica Gavora has worked in a number of roles over the course of her career, including management positions with the Independent Women's Forum and the New Citizenship Project. She has also served as the chief speechwriter for former U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft, and worked as a senior policy advisor for the U.S. Department of Justice. Gavora published Tilting the Playing Field: Schools, Sports, Sex, and Title IX, in 2002. The central issue in the book is Title IX, an amendment to a 1972 education bill that prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender by any educational institution receiving federal funds. In the years since its passage, Title IX has often been cited in college sports discrimination cases, specifically in issues where a school does not meet a certain quota of female athletes compared to male athletes. Gavora argues that Title IX has been abused by the government, and was never intended to be used in cases involving sports and schools. She says that young men are actually being discriminated against in cases where men's athletics have been cut because of Title IX.

While some critics dismissed Gavora as a writer with a decidedly conservative agenda, others found her book to be a balanced and well-researched account of the issue. Gavora has written an "example-laden, well-written treatise," American Enterprise contributor Melana Zyla Vickers commented. Some reviewers felt that Gavora's book has a good balance of factual information and personal anecdotes that work well together. "She is a talented advocate, offering definitive history and policy analysis, along with stories that will tug at your heartstrings and inspire you to take up arms alongside those who are working to undo what Title IX has done," concluded Jean Lopez in the National Review.



American Enterprise, March 2003, Melana Zyla Vickers, review of Tilting the Playing Field: Schools, Sports, Sex, and Title IX, p. 54.

Booklist, April 1, 2002, David Pitt, review of Tilting the Playing Field, p. 1292.

Ex Femina, September 2002, Jessica Gavora, "Tilting the Playing Field," p. 3.

National Review, July 1, 2002, Jean Lopez, review of Tilting the Playing Field, p. 43.


Claremont Institute Web site, (August 14, 2005), interview with Jessica Gavora.

Fund Forward Web site, (August 14, 2005), Donna Lopiano, "Women's Sports Foundation responds to Title IX attack."

Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study Web site, (August 14, 2005), biographical information about Jessica Gavora.

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