Thomas E. Mann

Senior Fellow – Governance Studies

Thomas E. Mann is a Senior Fellow in Governance Studies at The Brookings Institution and a Distinguished Affiliated Scholar in the Institute of Governmental Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. He held the W. Averell Harriman Chair at Brookings between 1991 and 2014 and was Director of Governmental Studies between 1987 and 1999. Before that, Mann was executive director of the American Political Science Association.

Born on September 10, 1944, in Milwaukee, he earned his B.A. in political science at the University of Florida and his M.A. and Ph.D. at the University of Michigan. He first came to Washington in 1969 as a Congressional Fellow in the offices of Senator Philip A. Hart and Representative James G. O’Hara.

Mann has taught at UC Berkeley, Princeton, Johns Hopkins, Georgetown, Virginia and American University; conducted polls for congressional candidates; worked as a consultant to IBM and the Public Broadcasting Service; chaired the Board of Overseers of the National Election Studies; and served as an expert witness in the constitutional defense of the McCain-Feingold campaign finance law. He has lectured in the United States and abroad on American politics and public policy and contributed frequently to newspapers, blogs, and television and radio programs on politics and governance.

Mann is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He is a recipient of the American Political Science Association’s Frank J. Goodnow, Charles E. Merriam, and Hubert H. Humphrey Awards.

Mann’s published works include Unsafe at Any Margin: Interpreting Congressional Elections; Vital Statistics on Congress; The New Congress; A Question of Balance: The President, the Congress and Foreign Policy; Media Polls in American Politics; Renewing Congress; Congress, the Press, and the Public; Intensive Care: How Congress Shapes Health Policy; Campaign Finance Reform: A Sourcebook; The Permanent Campaign and Its Future; Inside the Campaign Finance Battle: Court Testimony on the New Reforms; and Party Lines: Competition, Partisanship and Congressional Redistricting.

In 2006, Mann and Norman Ornstein published The Broken Branch: How Congress is Failing America and How to Get It Back on Track (Oxford University Press). Their next book, a New York Times bestseller entitled It’s Even Worse Than It Looks: How the American Constitutional System Collided With the New Politics of Extremism, was published by Basic Books in the spring of 2012. New expanded paper editions were released in 2013 and 2016. In 2017, Mann collaborated with E.J. Dionne, Jr. and Norman Ornstein in writing One Nation After Trump: A Guide for the Perplexed, the Disillusioned, the Desperate, and the Not-Yet-Deported. It was published by St. Martin’s Press and also became a New York Times bestseller.

He and his wife Sheilah now live in Berkeley, California. Their children, Ted and Stephanie, and grandsons, Leo and Luca, also reside in the Bay Area.

  • Areas of Expertise

    • Campaign finance
    • Political parties
    • Polling and public opinion
    • Reapportionment and redistricting
  • Past Positions

    • Director of Governmental Studies, Brookings
    • Executive Director, American Political Science Association
    • Co-Director of the AEI-Brookings Election Reform Project.
  • Education

    • Ph.D. (1977), M.A. (1968), University of Michigan
    • B.A., University of Florida, 1966
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