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Kathryn Dunn Tenpas, Ph.D

Nonresident Senior Fellow - Governance Studies

Kathryn Dunn Tenpas is a nonresident senior fellow with Governance Studies and a fellow and secretary of the Governance Institute.

Dr. Tenpas’ research addresses the intersection between the presidency and politics, including presidential reelection campaigns, and trends in presidential travel and polling expenses. She has also looked at White House staffing, with a particular focus on turnover rates and individual White House entities like the Office of Political Affairs, Office of Faith-based and Community Initiatives, and Staff Secretary. Dr. Tenpas has authored the book Presidents as Candidates: Inside the White House for the Presidential Campaign, and published over thirty articles, book chapters and papers on these topics. Recent publications include, a Political Science Quarterly article, “First Term Presidential Travel from Eisenhower to George W. Bush: The Emergence of an ‘Electoral College’ Strategy” (with Charnock and McCann), a book chapter titled, “The State of the Union Address: Process, Politics and Promotion,” and a Public Opinion Quarterly article, “Testing the Permanence of the Permanent Campaign: An Analysis of Presidential Polling Expenditures, 1977-2002” (with McCann).

In addition to her scholarly contributions, she serves as a participant in the University of Virginia’s oral history project at the Miller Center, which involves high-level interviews with members of the Bush administration (1989-1993), Clinton administration and Bush II administration (2001-2009). In preparation for the 2000-2001 and 2008-2009 presidential transitions, she was a member of The White House Project, in which she prepared a study of the White House Office of the Staff Secretary.  She also served two terms on the Board of the American Political Science Association’s Presidency Research Group, a national organization for presidency scholars. She has participated in numerous interviews with television, radio and print journalists, appearing in publications such as USA Today, The Washington Post, and the Wall Street Journal and on national news programs with NPR, NBC, CNN and Fox News.

Dr. Tenpas’ academic positions include her current affiliation with the University of Pennsylvania, as a Senior Fellow at the Weidenbaum Center at Washington University in St. Louis, and an Associate Professorship in the Department of Government and International Affairs at the University of South Florida. While there, she directed the Political Science Honors Program and the Washington, D.C. internship program. From 1992-1993, she was a guest scholar with Leiden University in the Netherlands.

Dr. Tenpas earned her B.A. from Georgetown University in 1985, and her M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Virginia (in 1989 and 1993, respectively). She lives in Maryland with her husband and two sons.

Kathryn Dunn Tenpas is a nonresident senior fellow with Governance Studies and a fellow and secretary of the Governance Institute.

Dr. Tenpas’ research addresses the intersection between the presidency and politics, including presidential reelection campaigns, and trends in presidential travel and polling expenses. She has also looked at White House staffing, with a particular focus on turnover rates and individual White House entities like the Office of Political Affairs, Office of Faith-based and Community Initiatives, and Staff Secretary. Dr. Tenpas has authored the book Presidents as Candidates: Inside the White House for the Presidential Campaign, and published over thirty articles, book chapters and papers on these topics. Recent publications include, a Political Science Quarterly article, “First Term Presidential Travel from Eisenhower to George W. Bush: The Emergence of an ‘Electoral College’ Strategy” (with Charnock and McCann), a book chapter titled, “The State of the Union Address: Process, Politics and Promotion,” and a Public Opinion Quarterly article, “Testing the Permanence of the Permanent Campaign: An Analysis of Presidential Polling Expenditures, 1977-2002” (with McCann).

In addition to her scholarly contributions, she serves as a participant in the University of Virginia’s oral history project at the Miller Center, which involves high-level interviews with members of the Bush administration (1989-1993), Clinton administration and Bush II administration (2001-2009). In preparation for the 2000-2001 and 2008-2009 presidential transitions, she was a member of The White House Project, in which she prepared a study of the White House Office of the Staff Secretary.  She also served two terms on the Board of the American Political Science Association’s Presidency Research Group, a national organization for presidency scholars. She has participated in numerous interviews with television, radio and print journalists, appearing in publications such as USA Today, The Washington Post, and the Wall Street Journal and on national news programs with NPR, NBC, CNN and Fox News.

Dr. Tenpas’ academic positions include her current affiliation with the University of Pennsylvania, as a Senior Fellow at the Weidenbaum Center at Washington University in St. Louis, and an Associate Professorship in the Department of Government and International Affairs at the University of South Florida. While there, she directed the Political Science Honors Program and the Washington, D.C. internship program. From 1992-1993, she was a guest scholar with Leiden University in the Netherlands.

Dr. Tenpas earned her B.A. from Georgetown University in 1985, and her M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Virginia (in 1989 and 1993, respectively). She lives in Maryland with her husband and two sons.

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