About me

I grew up in Sharon, Pennsylvania, graduated from Sharon High School, and was honored to be inducted into its Hall of Fame in September 2017. I then attended college at the University of Pittsburgh. After graduating with dual degrees in Economics and Business, I earned the M.A. in Economics at Pennsylvania State University, a law degree from the University of Pittsburgh, and the Ph.D from the University of Chicago. Currently, I am the Sherwin-Whitmore Professor of Liberal Arts at Pennsylvania State University, where I am appointed in the School of Public Policy and the Department of Political Science. At the Institut Barcelona d’Estudis Internacionals, I am Senior Research Fellow. When not in State College or Barcelona, I am at home in Philadelphia.

My teaching career in public policy, public administration and political science has brought me to the University of Kentucky, Texas A&M University, and the University of Georgia.  Between 2018-2021, I was Professor of Political Science at Bocconi University and Professor of the Politics of Public Policy at New York University before that. From 2014-2016, I served as Vice Dean for Academic Affairs and Research in the Robert F. Wagner School of Public Service. In Spring 2015, I was honored to hold the Jacob K. Javits Visiting Professorship at New York University. Between 2009-2014, I held the C.C. Crawford Chair in Management and Performance in the Price School of Public Policy at the University of Southern California. Since December 2015, I am an elected fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration. I was uniquely honored to have been selected as the 2020 recipient of the Herbert Simon Award for career contributions to the Scientific Study of Bureaucracy.

Over the past decade, I have held secondary appointments as Senior Lecturer in Politics at the University of Manchester and Professor of Public Policy Analysis in the School of Government and Society at the University of Birmingham. I was Honorary Senior Research Fellow in the Department of Political Science at University College London and have held similar affiliations at the University of Birmingham and Nottingham Trent University.

My research examines the ways in which politics shapes public policies and their implementation and what that means for democracy. I have been particularly interested in the relationship between public administration and democracy, and my recent book, Democracy Administered: How Public Administration Shapes Representative Government (Cambridge University Press) is my most ambitious work in that area. The research agenda in Chapter 5 of that book has now led to REPGOV, a five-year project funded through a European Research Council Advanced Grant that began on January 1, 2022 in Barcelona. With Larry Lynn, to whom Democracy Administered is dedicated, I wrote Madison’s Managers: Public Administration and the Constitution (Johns Hopkins University Press). With Lindsey Schwartz, I have recently completed Public Administration and Democracy: The Complementarity Principle (Cambridge University Press), which embeds within democratic theory the principle of complementarity between political and administrative values within states that I offered in Chapter 6 of Democracy Administered.

I have written two books on policymaking in the United Kingdom, Public Policy Investment: Priority-Setting and Conditional Representation in British Statecraft (Oxford University Press) with my friend Peter John and Policy Agendas in British Politics (Palgrave) with Peter again, as well Will Jennings and Shaun Bevan. My textbook, The Political Economy of Public Sector Governance (Cambridge University Press), is meant to introduce positive political theory to students of public policy and public administration. My work has appeared in a variety of scholarly journals including the American Political Science ReviewAmerican Journal of Political Science, British Journal of Political Science, Journal of Politics, Journal of Theoretical Politics, Political Studies, Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, GovernancePublic Administration and Public Administration Review. My Erdos number is 4.

I serve or have served on the editorial boards of the Journal of Politics, British Journal of Political Science, Political Science Research and Methods, Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, and the International Public Management Journal. In November 2011, I became co-editor of the Journal of Public Policy with Peter John. I am delighted to say that our editorship has enhanced the success of this longstanding journal. We expanded the editorial team in 2014, when I assumed the role of Senior Executive Editor, and again in 2016 and 2019. In January 2023, I become Editor-in-Chief of the Journal under a new structure that creates a strong field structure for our evolving constituency.

In 2023, I will be launching Encounters: State, Democracy, Communities, a space for open, generous and multidisciplinary dialogue on how we, as both experts and citizens, imagine and conceive of the State. As this effort evolves, so will this webpage.