Kathryn Tenpas

Director, Washington Semester Program and Adjunct Professor

Ph.D., University of Virginia, 1993.


Dr. Tenpas studies the American presidency and is particularly interested in presidential campaigns, White House operations and staffing, presidential polling and political consultants, and President Bush’s faith-based initiative.  She is the author of the book, Presidents as Candidates: Inside the White House for the Presidential Campaign and has published numerous articles appearing in such journals as The Journal of Politics, Political Science Quarterly, PS, Presidential Studies Quarterly and The Brookings Review.  Dr. Tenpas is a non-resident Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution and has recently completed a report entitled, “The Veto-Free Presidency: George W. Bush (2001-present),” which examines presidential vetoes during unified government in an effort to explain President Bush’s record.  She also serves as an officer of the Governance Institute, a non-profit organization dedicated to the study of interbranch relations within the American system, focusing primarily on how the levels and branches of government can best work together.

Selected Publications: 

"President Obama’s Second Term: Staffing Challenges and Opportunities," February 2013. (Read this article online)

"What to Expect in the Second Term: Presidential Travel and the Rise of Legacy Building, 1957-2009" (With Emily Charnock and James A. McCann), December 2012.  (Read this article online)

"The Veto-Free Presidency: George Bush (2001-Present)." (Read this article)

"Words vs. Deeds President George W. Bush and polling." (The Brookings Review, Summer 2003 Vol.21 No.3 pp. 32-35).
(Read it Online) 

"Campaigning to Govern: Presidents Seeking Reelection." (PS, Journal of the APSA, Vol. 36, No. 2, April 2003, pp. 199-202).
(Read this article) 

"Explaining Increasing Turnover Rates Among Presidential Advisors, 1929-1997," with Matthew Dickinson.  (Journal of Politics, Vol. 64, No. 2, May 2002, pp. 434-448)
(Read this article) 

Courses Taught: 
  • Politics, Power and Policymaking in Washington, D.C.
  • Independent Study

University of Pennsylvania
208 S. 37th Street, Room 217
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6215
Phone: (215) 898-7641

Edward Mansfield Chair
Matthew Levendusky Graduate Chair
John Lapinski Undergraduate Chair