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David E. Lewis

Rebecca Webb Wilson University Distinguished Professor
Professor of Law (by courtesy)

David E. Lewis' research interests include the presidency, executive branch politics and public administration. He is the author of two books, Presidents and the Politics of Agency Design (Stanford University Press, 2003) and The Politics of Presidential Appointments: Political Control and Bureaucratic Performance (Princeton University Press, 2008). He has also published numerous articles on American politics, public administration, and management in journals such as the American Journal of Political Science, the Journal of Politics, the British Journal of Political SciencePublic Administration Review, and Presidential Studies Quarterly. His work has been featured in outlets such as the Harvard Business Review, New York Times, and Washington Post. He is a member of the National Academy of Public Administration and has earned numerous research and teaching awards, including the Herbert Simon Award for contributions to the scientific study of the bureaucracy and the Madison Sarratt, Jeffrey Nordhaus, and Robert Birkby awards for excellence in undergraduate teaching.

Before joining Vanderbilt’s Department of Political Science, he was an assistant professor of politics and public affairs at Princeton University, where he was affiliated with the Center for the Study of Democratic Politics. He began his academic career at the College of William and Mary, where he was an assistant professor in the Department of Government from 2000-02. He currently serves as the president of the Southern Political Science Association and president of the Midwest Public Administration Caucus. He serves on the editorial boards of Presidential Studies Quarterly and Public Administration. PhD. Stanford University.

Representative publications

  • “Elite Perceptions of Agency Ideology and Workforce Skill.” (with Mark D. Richardson and Joshua D. Clinton) Journal of Politics 80(1):303-8 (2018).
  • “Will Federal Employees Work for a President They Disagree With?” (with Alexander D. Bolton and John M. de Figueiredo) Harvard Business Review, February 10, 2017.
  • “Agency Performance Challenges and Agency Politicization.” (with Abby K. Wood) Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory 27(4):581-95 (2017).
  • “Presidents and Patronage.” (with Gary E. Hollibaugh, Jr. and Gabe Horton), American Journal of Political Science 58(4):1024-1042 (2014).
  • “Influencing the Bureaucracy: The Irony of Congressional Oversight.” (with Joshua D. Clinton and Jennifer L. Selin), American Journal of Political Science 58(2):387-401 (2014).
  • “Separated Powers in the United States.” (with Joshua D. Clinton, Anthony M. Bertelli, Christian Grose, and David C. Nixon) American Journal of Political Science 56(2):341-54 (2012).
  • View Curriculum Vitae