Catherine Forslund is the Isabelle Ross Abbott Professor of History and Women's Studies, the dean of first-year studies, and the chair of the history department at Rockford University. She teaches U. S., Latin American, and Asian history and has worked extensively with local, federally funded Teaching American History programs. Her publications include works in diplomatic and women's history such as We Are a College at War: Women Working for Victory in World War II (2010), Anna Chennault: Informal Diplomacy and Asian Relations (2002), and "Worth a Thousand Words: Editorial Cartoons of the Korean War" in the Journal of Conflict Studies (vol. 22, 2002). She contributed a chapter on Edith Kermit Carow Roosevelt to A Companion to First Ladies (2016), part of the Wiley Blackwell Companions to American History series. Her research interests include Vietnam War–era and other editorial cartoons.
The career of this dynamic journalist, businesswoman, and political activist reveals the burgeoning power of unofficial diplomats growing in the mid-20th century. Widow of General Claire Lee Chennault of the Flying Tigers, Mrs. Chennault played a role in the 1968 presidential election October surprise, negotiated U.S. landing rights in several “free” Asian nations during and after the Vietnam War, and worked to bridge the divide between the U.S., Taiwan, and mainland China during the Nixon, Reagan, and Bush administrations. Chennault, an early model of informal diplomacy, was a woman operating in very male world, who paved the way for others—both male and female—to follow in her footsteps.