Deborah A. O’Malley is a Research Fellow at CRDC and Associate Director of the Center for Citizenship and Constitutional Government at the University of Notre Dame. Her research interests include the nature of associations and their role in democratic society; First Amendment free speech jurisprudence; and religious freedom.
Prior to joining the CCCG at Notre Dame, Dr. O’Malley was a Visiting Assistant Professor of Political Science at Assumption University where she also served as Associate Director of the Moynihan Center for Scholarship and Statesmanship. For her work at Assumption, she was honored with the AU Student Government Association’s 2020-21 Faculty Award as well as the Jack Miller Center’s 2022 Excellence in Civic Education Award.
A native of Cleveland, Ohio, O’Malley earned a BA in Political Science and Philosophy from Ashland University, where she participated in the Ashbrook Scholars Program. After college, she headed off to Washington, DC and spent five years as a researcher, focusing on constitutional law. She has worked at The Federalist Society, The Heritage Foundation, and the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty. Her writing has appeared in numerous outlets, including the Washington Post Online, the Washington Times, and RealClearPolitics.
O’Malley earned an MA and a Ph.D. in Political Science from Baylor University. There, she studied American constitutionalism and wrote a dissertation on the freedom of religious institutions in the American legal tradition. Upon graduating from Baylor, she was a postdoctoral fellow in the James Madison Program at Princeton University. She has participated in fellowships with a variety of scholarly organizations, including the Berkely Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs at Georgetown University, the John Jay Institute, and the Ethics and Public Policy Center.
The Center for Religion, Culture, and Democracy envisions democratic societies which affirm the essential role of religious convictions, peoples, and institutions in cultivating free and flourishing communities.
To achieve our vision, the CRCD supports the creation and promotion of high quality scholarship at the intersection of religion, culture, and democracy. Our publications, programming, and resources affirm the importance of religion as a public good for strengthening social bonds and reinforcing foundational freedoms.