David E. Lewis is the William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor in the Department of Political Science at Vanderbilt University. 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 Science, Public 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.
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 is previously served as president of the Southern Political Science Association and president of the Midwest Public Administration Caucus. He currently serves on the editorial boards of Presidential Studies Quarterly and Public Administration. PhD. Stanford University.
Here is a recent interview with David:
I worked for a member of Congress in college doing casework. I enjoyed both helping people and working with the people in the agencies.
In the United States, the infrastructure of governance, like the nation’s physical infrastructure has been neglected for some time. A grand challenge for the next generation is how to rebuild the infrastructure of governance—the agencies, people, and processes that carry out the will of voters through their elected officials. This means new investments in human capital, technology, and best practices.
This is a hard question to answer! I consider among my greatest accomplishments the students I have sent on to careers in government or education, particularly when they tell me that all the work I did to make them write better memos was worth the time and effort!
Try to imagine yourself in someone else’s shoes. How would you want to be treated?
People who faithfully do the right thing when no one is looking -- even when they are unappreciated, maligned or misunderstood -- inspire me.
I wanted to work for the U.S. Postal Service and deliver mail.
Major Barbara, a play by George Bernard Shaw
I worked in a pizza parlor in my home town, Morgan Hill, California.
Easy access to the outdoors and professional sports teams.