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Karen Hult

Professor, Center for Public Administration & Policy (CPAP)
  • PhD Program Director, Center for Public Administration & Policy (CPAP)
  • Editor, Administration & Society
Karen Hult
Thomas-Conner House
104 Draper Road SW (0520)
Blacksburg, VA 24061
  • Ph.D., Political Science, University of Minnesota, 1984
  • Graduate work in government, Harvard University, 1978-79
  • B.A. (Summa cum Laude), Creighton University, 1978
  • Organizational Theory
  • U.S. National Institutions (Presidency, Executive Branch, and the Courts)
  • State Politics and Policy
  • Social Science Methodologies
  • Organizational Theory
  • U.S. Executive Branches
  • Research Design
  • Policy Process and Analysis
  • State and Local Government
  • Judicial Process
  • U.S. Presidency


  • Empowering the White House: Governance under Nixon, Ford, and Carter (with Charles E. Walcott), Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas, 2004.
  • Governing the White House: From Hoover through LBJ (with Charles Walcott), Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas, 1995.
  • Governing Public Organizations: Politics, Structures, and Institutional Design (with Charles Walcott), Pacific Grove, Calif.: Brooks/Cole, 1990.
  • Agency Merger and Bureaucratic Redesign, Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1987. 

Selected Articles and Book Chapters

  • “Women and Executive Branch Leadership,” in Lori Cox Han and Caroline Heldman, editors, Madam President? Gender and Politics on the Road to the White House, Lynne Rienner Publishers, forthcoming March 2020.
  • “White House Evolution and Institutionalization: The Office of the Chief of Staff Since Reagan” (with David Cohen and Charles E. Walcott), Presidential Studies Quarterly 45 (March 2016): 4-29.
  • “Representation in and by the White House,” solicited and peer-reviewed essay, The Gendered Executive: A Comparative Analysis of Presidents, Prime Ministers, and Chief Executives, edited by Janet M. Martin and MaryAnne Borrelli (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2016), pp. 147-64.
  • “The Chicago Clan: The First Chiefs of Staff in the Obama White House” (with David Cohen and Charles Walcott), Social Science Quarterly 93 (December 2012): 1101-1126.
  • "Environmental Perspectives on Public Institutions," solicited entry in Handbook of Public Administration, 2nd edition, edited by Guy Peters and Jon Pierre (London: Sage Publications, 2012), pp. 193-205.
  • “Civic Engagement and Internet Use in Local Governance: Hierarchical Linear Models for Understanding the Role of Local Community Groups” (with B. Joon Kim and Andrea Kavanaugh), Administration & Society 43 (October 2011): 807-35.
  • “Whither or Wither the Chief: The Office of Chief of Staff in the Trump White House” (with David Cohen), for Presidential Studies Quarterly, due December 2019
  • “White House Chief of Staff: Evolution of a Presidential Institution” (with David Cohen and Charles Walcott), book under contract with University Press of Kansas
  •  “Staffing and Organizing the White House and Executive Branch: A Presidential Briefing Book” (with Charles E. Walcott), book under contract with Transaction Publishers
  • “Structuring and Governance in Public Organizations” [working title], proposal for book revisiting themes in Governing Public Organizations
  • Interviews, updates for 2020: "Office of the Staff Secretary" (with Kathryn Dunn Tenpas), White House Transition Project, Institutional Memory Series, 2000, 2008, 2012, 2017
  • Interviews, updates for 2020: "The White House Counsel's Office" (with MaryAnne Borrelli, Nancy Kassop, and Kathryn Dunn Tenpas [2017]), White House Transition Project, Institutional Memory Series, 2000, 2008, 2012, 2017