Sarah A. Binder

Senior Fellow – Governance Studies

Sarah Binder is senior fellow in Governance Studies at Brookings and a professor of political science at George Washington University, specializing in Congress and legislative politics, as well as Congress’s relationship with the Federal Reserve.

Most recently, Binder co-authored with Mark Spindel, “The Myth of Independence: How Congress Governs the Federal Reserve” (Princeton University Press 2017), winner of the Richard F. Fenno, Jr. Prize for the best book in legislative studies and the Kammerer Award for the best book on U.S. national policy. Her earlier books include “Minority Rights, Majority Rule: Partisanship and the Development of Congress” (Cambridge University Press 1997); with Steven S. Smith, “Politics or Principle? Filibustering in the United States Senate” (Brookings Institution Press 1997); “Stalemate: Causes and Consequences of Legislative Gridlock” (Brookings Institution Press, 2003), winner of the Richard F. Fenno, Jr. Prize for the best book in legislative studies; and with Forrest Maltzman, “Advice and Dissent: The Struggle to Shape the Federal Judiciary” (Brookings Institution Press 2009). Her work has also appeared in the American Political Science Review and elsewhere.

Binder was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2015. She is also an American politics editor at Good Authority (a political science blog previously hosted by The Washington Post), a former co-editor of Legislative Studies Quarterly, and GWU’s Faculty Senate parliamentarian. Binder received her Ph.D. in political science from the University of Minnesota in 1995 and B.A. from Yale University in 1986. She joined Brookings in 1995 and George Washington University in 1999.

  • Areas of Expertise

    • Congress and congressional history
    • House and Senate rules and reform
    • Judicial selection
    • Political parties
  • Current Positions

    • Professor of Political Science, George Washington University
  • Past Positions

    • Robert Hartley Research Fellow, Research Associate, and Fellow, Brookings
    • Press Secretary and Legislative Aide to U.S. Representative Lee H. Hamilton (D-Ind.) (1986-90)
  • Education

    • Ph.D., University of Minnesota, 1995
    • B.A., Yale University, 1986
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