Pietro Nivola

The Pietro S. Nivola Intern is an honorific designation awarded to one Governance Studies intern each term in recognition of their commitment to the Brookings values of intellectual curiosity, collegiality, inclusion, and leadership. This award is bestowed in memory of Brookings Senior Fellow and one-time director of Governance Studies, Pietro Nivola. For more information or to donate to the Pietro S. Nivola Internship in Governance Studies, please contact Senior Director of Development Courtney Dunakin. While Nivola passed away in 2017, his legacy and impact continue to live on. In the words of Pietro’s friend and colleague Bill Galston:

Pietro’s association with Brookings, which spanned more than three decades, was astonishing for its productivity and even more for its variety. The first of the 11 books he published with the Brookings Press dealt with energy conservation; the last, with the war of 1812. In between, he addressed environmental protection, trade and industrial policy, urban problems, and federalism, among other topics. … Too many scholars lead unbalanced lives. Pietro made time for everything that mattered—family, friends, a rich social life, intense physical activity, and cooking that merited at least one Michelin star. … That was Pietro’s life—each element carefully wrought, coming together in a full life well lived.

You can read the rest of Galston’s remembrance on the Brookings website, a tribute by Steven Pearlstein in The Washington Post, and Nivola’s obituary in The New York Times. View a collection of Nivola’s work at Brookings here.


Previous Pietro S. Nivola Intern award recipients include:

  • Andrew Hoffman, College of William & Mary (Fall 2023)
  • Anna Heetderks, University of Virginia (Summer 2023)
  • Brady Tavernier, American University (Spring 2023)
  • Brooke Tanner, Georgetown University (Summer 2022)
  • Sasha Matsuki, Indiana University (Spring 2022)
  • Cyndi Lai, Swarthmore College (Fall 2021)
  • Emily Skahill, Brown University (Summer 2021)
  • Sabina Morris, Mount Holyoke College (Spring 2021)
  • Mishaela Robison, Stanford University (Fall 2020)
  • Marie Falcone, University of Nevada-Las Vegas (Summer 2020)
  • Carolina (Caro) Hernandez, St. Edward’s University (Spring 2020)
  • Agneska Bloch, Northwestern University (Fall 2019)
  • Raj Karan Gambhir, Harvard University (Summer 2019)
  • Rachel Orey, The George Washington University (Spring 2019)
  • Benjamin Daly-Jones, Oxford University (Fall 2018)
  • Bethany Kirkpatrick, Davidson College (Summer 2018)
  • Kim Truong, University of Michigan (Spring 2018)
  • Eli Cohen, Pomona College (Fall 2017)
  • Meron Hagos, Duke University (Summer 2017)
  • Ana Arellano Jimenez, University of Wisconsin-Madison (Spring 2017)

About Pietro Nivola’s work

Pietro Nivola began at Brookings as a visiting fellow in 1988, was appointed a senior fellow in 1993, and eventually served as vice president and director of Governance Studies between 2004 and 2008. Prior to that, he had been an associate professor of political science at the University of Vermont, and in 1976-77, a lecturer in the department of government at Harvard University.

Nivola authored numerous books and articles on subjects ranging from energy regulation and environmental protection, to trade and industrial policy, urban problems, federalism, and American national politics. He is the author of “Regulating Unfair Trade” (Brookings, 1993) and, with Robert W. Crandall, “The Extra Mile: Rethinking Energy Policy for Automotive Transportation” (Brookings, 1995). Two of his earlier books were “The Politics of Energy Conservation” (Brookings, 1986) and “The Urban Service Problem” (Lexington Books/D.C. Heath, 1979). With David H. Rosenbloom, Nivola was also co-editor of the widely adopted text, “Classic Readings in American Politics,” first published by St. Martin’s Press in 1986. In 1997 Nivola produced the Brookings conference volume “Comparative Disadvantages? Social Regulations and the Global Economy” (Brookings, 1997). His other works include “Laws of the Landscape: How Policies Shape Cities in Europe and America” (Brookings, 1999); “Managing Green Mandates: Local Rigors of U.S. Environmental Regulation” (with Jon A. Shields), published in 2001 by the AEI-Brookings Joint Center for Regulatory Studies; “Tense Commandments: Federal Prescriptions and City Problems” (Brookings, 2002); and “Agenda for the Nation” (Brookings 2003), a volume co-edited with Henry J. Aaron and James M. Lindsay. His latest books, co-edited with David W. Brady of the Hoover Institution, are “Red and Blue Nation? Volume I: Characteristics and Causes of America’s Polarized Politics” (Brookings/Hoover, 2006) and “Red and Blue Nation? Volume II: Consequences and Correction of America’s Polarized Politics” (Brookings/Hoover, 2008).

Nivola received his A.B. and Ph.D. from Harvard University. He also holds an M.C.P. from the Harvard Graduate School of Design. Nivola was awarded Harvard’s Frederick Sheldon Traveling Fellowship, and was a Samuel Andrew Stouffer Fellow at the Joint Center for Urban Studies of Harvard and M.I.T. His work has been supported by grants or fellowships from the Ford Foundation, the Earhart Foundation, the Smith Richardson Foundation, the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, the Alex C. Walker Foundation, the Century Foundation, the Joyce Foundation, the Carnegie Corporation, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.