Associate Professor Jennifer Susan Lees-Marshment

BA(Hons) (Keele), MA (Distinction) (Manchester), PhD (Keele)


Jennifer Lees-Marshment is a research-led but practice-oriented cross-disciplinary academic working in the areas of Political Marketing, Political Management and Political Leadership. She is author/editor of 17 books, a world expert in political marketing and A-rated in the NZ research assessment (PBRF 2018/2012). Jennifer is lead Academic Advisor to TVNZ’s Vote Compass (2014, 2017, 2020) as well as advisor on Kiwimeter (2015), engaging over a million members of the public in discussing politics and policy and facilitating the University and TVNZ partnering to host the first ever 1 News Young Voters Debate in 2017 and 2020. Jennifer won the International Association for Public Participation Research Award for Australasia and was appointed to Chair the NZ Magna Carta 800th anniversary committee in 2015. She currently leads the University's Community of Interest in Employability.

Research | Current

Jennifer is a world expert in Political Marketing, being author or editor of the textbook, Routledge Handbook, and Palgrave Book series in the field. Jennifer has also edited books on the 2017 and the 2020 NZ elections.

She also completed an award-winning book The Ministry of Public Input on how public input can be integrated into political leadership. She has interviewed over 250 political practitioners including government ministers and advisors to Prime Ministers and Presidents.

Her most recent book Political Management: the Dance of Government and Politics (Routledge) is the first book to define the emerging field, covering: strategic planning, political HR, organisational behaviour, leadership and reviewing. Routledge contracted her to edit the Routledge Applied Handbook of Political Management which she is working on during 2021-2023.

Nurturing research leadership is fundamental to her work, through event and network organisation, editorial work, and mentoring other scholars. She is also involved in engagement through media work and impact through applied research and advice on political strategy and engagement. 

See for further details.

Teaching | Current

Jennifer's teaching philosophy is future-focused, seeking to develop future capabilities but also help students envisage who they may become. This involves developing students’ employability so that they are future ready for, and employable as, researchers or practitioners. 

Research-led teaching utilises her expertise in political marketing and management and interviews with practitioners. Employability teaching uses applied assessment and workplace skills training. Students discover their ability to conduct research and critique real world cases through interactive seminars peer group discussion and applying academic theories to apply to current practice, creating advice for politicians in workplace style reports. Despite the challenges of the pandemic and needing to adapt teaching to online every semester due to lockdowns, in 2020-1 student evaluations were high (704 2021 100% overall satisfaction; 704 2020 87.5%; 315 2020 90%) and above institutional averages.

POLITICS 315 The Practice of Politics explores the nature, suitability, skills and ethics needed to get and succeed when working in politics, government and IR - see resource centre at (Auckland login only)

POLITICS 345 Political Marketing introduces students to how candidates, parties, elected officials and governments around the world utilise marketing concepts and tools such as strategy, branding and communicatons to win elections and remain in office.

POLITICS 704 Political Management in Governmnet seeks to prepare students for practising politics by preparing them for working in government, covering strategy, branding, communications, delivery management and crisis management.

Postgraduate supervision

Dr Lees-Marshment can supervise graduate research in political marketing, political management, government management, political parties and elections, political communication, political leadership, government and public consultation, public administration, government marketing, policy marketing and nation branding.

Previous students have worked on topics such as market-oriented parties, market-oriented communication of leaders, political public relations, branding government departments, e-marketing, party participation, e-consultation, nation branding and tourism marketing. Research can explore a range of countries including the United States, New Zealand, UK, Australia, Canada, Ghana, Indonesia, Malaysia and China.

Jennifer also supports graduate students in running Political marketing and management network for current and former students, encouraging her graduates to be an active group and attend events such as campaign launches and TVNZ debates in elections.

Her Masters students often obtain jobs immediately after completing their thesis. Check out this video with MA student Tom James who developed a passion for working in market research whilst studying under Jennifer, got a job with Colmar Brunton and then as a ministerial advisor.




  1. Joyce Manyo, Designing and delivering the political brand promise in developing democracies: The case of Ghana (main supervisor; 2nd supervisor Mike Lee, Marketing)
  2. Luna (Liang) Zhao, Targeting Chinese voters: How New Zealand major parties (National and Labour) use political marketing to target Chinese New Zealanders (main supervisor; 2nd supervisor Lara Greaves)
  3. Muhammad Djindan, Charting Science-Politics Relationship in Time of Crisis: COVID-19 Social Restriction Policy in Indonesia (main supervisor; 2nd supervisor Tatjana Buklijas) – started February 2022


  1. Salma Usman Malik, Youth, Political Knowledge, and Election Campaigns: The Attitudes and Approaches of Political and Communication Elites in New Zealand (main supervisor) completed 2021.
  2. Andrew Lim ‘Political Marketing and Nation Branding by New Zealand and Australian Advocacy Groups to Support Israeli and Palestinian Governmental Public Diplomacy’ (main supervisor) completed 2021.
  3. Bey Widodo, Making Government Better: Managing Public Servants’ Attitudes to Reform (main supervisor) completed 2021.
  4. Ziad Elsahn, Nation branding and international business (advisor) completed 2018
  5. Edward Elder, A New Model of Communication for Market-Oriented Governing Leaders (main supervisor) completed 2015.


Research Masters (one year)

  1. Ziena Jalil, Political leaders and nation branding at international events, 2018-2019, awarded first-class
  2. James Barrett, Brand personality of party leaders in the NZ 2017 Election, February 2017 – 2018 awarded first-class
  3. Tom Seeman Implementing a Market-Orientation in the UK and NZ Labour Parties: How to Change the Party to Change the Country, July 2014-January 2016 awarded first-class
  4. Rachael Crosby ‘Be friends with me! Online political relationship marketing: an analysis of Jacinda Ardern and Nikki Kaye’s use of Facebook accounts’, July 2014-15
  5. Renisa Maki, ‘The Portraits of the First Ladies – an art history and political marketing perspective’ awarded first-class, second supervisor, Art History, Feb 2014-15
  6. Sophia Blair ‘Exploring whether online political marketing increase political participation in New Zealand (part-time)’ February 2011- December 2012
  7. Phillip Wakefield ‘With or Without You: The Evolution of Marketing Orientated Leadership – The Case Study of John Key’ February 2011-12
  8. Laura Young E-Consultation, Local Government and the OECD Scale of Participation: Achieving Active Participation? July 2010-11
  9. Edward Elder 'Rejuvenating a Flailing Market Oriented Government: A Comparative Perspective' supervision taken over February-June 2010
  10. Michelle Craig, 'Reconciling electioneering and democracy: Synthesising political marketing and deliberative democracy to reconcile a framework for citizen consultation', 2009
  11. Andrea Garnham, Applying corporate reputation theory to political parties, co-supervised with Liliana Erakovich, The Department of Management, part-time, 2007-2009



  • 2021 Research Impact Award, for Vote Compass work that had a benefit for society beyond its academic merits, University of Auckland.
  • Academic Advisor to TVNZ's Vote Compass 2020
  • Visiting Fellow at the Crawford School of Public Policy, ANU, 2019
  • Visiting Professor at the University of Ghana Business school, 2019
  • Invited Plenary speaker for the International Association for Public Participation Australasia Conference, Brisbane, 2018
  • Academic Advisor to TVNZ's Vote Compass, 2017
  • Academic Advisor to TVNZ's Kiwimeter, 2016
  • Keynote (English language) for the Canadian Communication Association conference, ‘Everybody's talking at me: managing the incessant communication of public input to our political leaders.’ 2016
  • CLeaR Fellow in Teaching and Learning for 2015 on the theme Student engagement and achievement, completing an online resource to help academics teach the practice of politics
  • Appointed Chair of the Magna Carta 800th Committee for New Zealand, 2015
  • Academic Advisor to TVNZ's Vote Compass for the 2014 New Zealand Election (see research works wonders video). 
  • Fellow of the Political Management Programme at Carleton University in Canada, 2013
  • Political Science Keynote at the Contested Democracy Conference, University Paris Sobonne Nouvelle, Paris, 2012
  • President of the NZPSA (New Zealand Political Studies Association) 2011-2012
  • Distinguished Visiting Scholar, University of Suffolk, Boston, USA, sponsored by the College of Arts and Sciences, the John Joseph Moakley Institute, and the Institute for Diversity in Civic Leadership, 2011
  • Visiting Professor, Political Science, Masaryk University; Politics/European Studies, Palacký University Czech Republic, 2010
  • Keynote, UiTM, Malaysia, 'The Political Marketing Game', 2009
  • Visiting professorship, Centre for the Study of Democratic Citizenship, McGill/Laval University, and Keynote, Political Marketing Practice and Research in Canada Workshop, Canadian Political Science Association (CPSA), 2009
  • Keynote, The Democracy Week Conference, Mid-Sweden University, Sundsvall, Sweden ‘Political marketing: the key to electoral success or cause of democratic turmoil?’ 2004


Current service roles:

  1. UG Advisor, Politics and International Relations, 2021 onwards
  2. Convenor of the University Community of Interest in Employability, 2019 onwards
  3. University Senate, 2021-2022
  4. Member of the Curriculum Transformation Work integrated learning working group, 2021
  5. University Academic Audit working group, 2021
  6. University of Auckland Representative on the Universities NZ Work Integrated Learning Working Group, 2019 onwards​
  7. Employability Advocate for the School of Social Sciences, 2017 onwards. 
  8. Member of the Convening Group for the University Community of Interest in Research Impact, 2019 onwards

Areas of expertise

  • Political marketing
  • Political management
  • Political leadership
  • Political communication
  • Parties and elections
  • Media, consultation, deliberation and public input

Committees/Professional groups/Services

Current activities:

  • Associate Editor for the European Journal of Marketing, 2018 onwards
  • Editor of the book series Palgrave Studies in Political Marketing and Management, 2015 onwards
  • Editorial board member for the Journal of Public Affairs, 2019 onwards
  • Editorial board member for the International Review on Public and Nonprofit Marketing 2009 onwards
  • Communications officer for the PSA Political Marketing Group

Past activities include:

  • Member of the Future Ready Grads project, end 2018-2019
  • Lead, Embedding Employability, Faculty of Arts BA Renewal, 2016-17
  • Editor of special issues of the Journal of Non-profit and Public Sector Marketing (2016), Journal of Non-profit & Public Sector Marketing (2005), International Journal of Non-profit and Voluntary sector marketing (2003) and Journal of Public Affairs (2003)
  • Member of the Reference Group on the University Graduate Profile, 2014
  • Member of the internal social sciences committee for the PBRF research exercise, 2012
  • Member of IAP2 Auckland branch organising committee
  • Chair of the Department of Political Studies Research Committee, 2013
  • Training on the Practice of Political Marketing delivered to Carleton University political management graduate students, 2013
  • Invited trainer for the Government of Macedonia’s Training for Young Leaders, to teach Political Marketing and Leadership, 2012
  • Postgraduate enrichment co-ordinator Political Studies Auckland University 2010-2011
  • Founding Chair of the Departmental Learning and Teaching Committee Political Studies Auckland University 2006-7
  • Director of Quality, Management Department, during Institutional Quality Audit Discipline Audit Trail 2003-4

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

As of 29 October 2020 there will be no automatic updating of 'selected publications and creative works' from Research Outputs. Please continue to keep your Research Outputs profile up to date.
  • Lees-Marshment, J. (2021). Political management: The dance of government and politics. Abingdon, Oxon, UK: Routledge. Pages: 272.
  • Lees-Marshment, J., Huff, A. D., & Bendle, N. (2020). A Social Commons Ethos in Public Policy-Making. JOURNAL OF BUSINESS ETHICS, 166 (4), 761-778. 10.1007/s10551-020-04577-3
  • Lees-Marshment, J. S. (2020). The New (Old) Trudeau in 2019: The Challenges and Potential for Branding Prime Ministers in Government. In J. Gillies, V. Raynauld, A. Turcotte (Eds.) Political Marketing in 2019 Canadian Federal Election. Palgrave. 10.1007/978-3-030-50281-2
  • Hendriks, C. M., & Lees-Marshment, J. (2019). Political Leaders and Public Engagement: The Hidden World of Informal Elite-Citizen Interaction. POLITICAL STUDIES, 67 (3), 597-617. 10.1177/0032321718791370
  • Lees-Marshment, J. (2019). Marketing scholars and political marketing: The pragmatic and principled reasons for why marketing academics should research the use of marketing in the political arena. Customer Needs and Solutions, 1-8. 10.1007/s40547-019-0091-0
  • Lees-Marshment, J. S., Conley, B., Elder, E., Pettitt, R., Turcotte, A., & Raynauld, V. (2019). Political marketing: principles and applications (3rd). UK: Routledge. Pages: 272. 10.4324/9781351136907
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Edward Elder
  • Lees-Marshment, J. (2018). Political Marketing and Management in the 2017 New Zealand Election. Palgrave Pivot. Pages: 158.
  • Lees-Marshment, J. S., & Smolovic-Jones, O. (2018). Being more with less: Exploring the flexible political leadership identities of government ministers. Leadership, 14 (4), 460-482. 10.1177/1742715016687815


Contact details

Office hours

by appointment, in HSB room 504

Primary office location

Level 7, Room 705
New Zealand

Secondary office location

58 SYMONDS ST - Bldg 435
Level 7, Room 710
New Zealand

Web links