News Release

Darrell West Named Vice President and Director of Governance Studies at Brookings

April 2, 2008

Darrell West, currently director of the Taubman Center for Public Policy and American Institutions at Brown University, is joining the Brookings Institution as vice president and director of Governance Studies, Brookings President Strobe Talbott announced today.

Dr. West also directs the Taubman Center’s public opinion laboratory and holds the John Hazen White Chair as a professor of public policy and political science. During his eight years as director of the Taubman Center, the institution’s budget increased from $400,000 to $1.5 million. He has been a member of the Brown political science department faculty for over 20 years, where he has served as chair. Dr. West was a Brookings research fellow in 1980-1981.

West will join Brookings July 1, replacing Pietro Nivola, who will remain the Douglas Dillon Senior Fellow. Dr. Nivola has served as director of the program since 2004.

“We are incredibly pleased that Darrell will be back at Brookings after a wonderful career at Brown University,” Talbott said. “Darrell’s track record in building the Taubman Center covers the full range of challenges facing American politics. He is the perfect person to build upon Pietro Nivola’s legacy of making Brookings the go-to place for strengthening America’s democratic institutions.” Talbott focused on Governance Studies work in addressing growing political polarization, fixing troubled electoral systems, promoting reform in Congressional processes and in finding ways to advance civil discourse. “We feel that under Darrell’s leadership, we are poised to have even greater impact in helping our political institutions address the major challenges facing the nation.”

“I am delighted to be joining Brookings,” West said. “Governance Studies has first-rate scholars committed to improving American democracy and the overall functioning of our political system.  America faces many challenges and it is important that our political institutions function effectively.”

In addition to running the Taubman Center, Dr. West is the author of 15 books on American politics, elections, mass media and technology. His books include Air Wars; Television Advertising in Election Campaigns, 1952-2004 (Congressional Quarterly, 2005); Evaluating Campaign Quality: Can the Electoral Process Be Improved? (Cambridge University Press, 2007), The Rise and Fall of the Media Establishment (Bedford/St. Martins Press, 2001), Celebrity Politics (Prentice Hall, 2003), Patrick Kennedy: The Rise to Power (Prentice Hall, 2000), and Biotechnology Policy Across National Boundaries (Palgrave/MacMillan, 2007). His book Digital Government: Technology and Public Sector Performance won the Don K. Price Award for best book on technology.  His co-authored book Crosstalk:  Citizens, Candidates, and the Media in a Presidential Campaign won the Doris Graber Prize for best book on political communications.

West is a graduate of Indiana University and lives in Providence, RI with his wife, Karin Rosnizeck.


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