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Karen Hult

Karen Hult, Professor

Karen Hult, Professor
Karen Hult, Professor

Department of Political Science
537 Major Williams Hall (0130)
220 Stanger Street
Blacksburg, VA 24061
540-231-5836 |

Karen Hult’s public affairs activities include being an invited as a presidency scholar-in-residence at Clemson University in 2013 and delivering an invited paper on the administrative presidency at a symposium on “Understanding Richard Nixon: His Era,” at the Nixon Presidential Library in 2011. Hult has also served as an election night analyst on the National Public Radio affiliate WVTF, and she speaks with journalists about the U.S. presidency and about Virginia politics and government.

  • Organization and institutional theories
  • U.S. presidency
  • U.S. national executive branch departments and agencies, policy
  • U.S. state politics, policy, and governance
  • Social science methodologies
  • PhD, in Political Science, University of Minnesota
  • BA, summa cum laude, Creighton University
  • Past Chair, Department of Political Science
  • Editorial Board Member: Congress & the PresidencyRhetoric & Public AffairsPresidential Studies QuarterlyAdministration & Society
  • Member, Advisory Board, White House Transition Project
  • Member, Selection Committee, Goodnow Award, American Political Science Association
  • Core Faculty Member, Center for Public Administration and Policy, School of Public and International Affairs
  • Faculty Affiliate, ASPECT
  • “Excellence in Mentoring” Award (“to recognize sustained efforts by senior scholars to encourage and facilitate the career of emerging political scientists in the field of public policy”), Policy section, American Political Science Association, September 2015
  • Career Service Award, APSA Presidency and Executive Politics, 2012, “given every fourth (presidential election) year to recognize the body of significant research produced by a scholar of the Presidency and Executive Politics who has been active in promoting the field by contributing to the Presidency and Executive Politics section and to APSA”
  • Alumni/ae of the Year Award, College of Arts and Sciences, Creighton University, May 2005. 


Empowering the White House: Governance Under Nixon, Ford, and Carter (with Charles E. Walcott), Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas, 2004. [Named “An Outstanding Academic Title, 2004,” Choice; winner Albert L. Sturm Award for Excellence in Faculty Research, Phi Beta Kappa, Mu of Virginia, 2008]

Governing the White House: From Hoover through LBJ (with Charles Walcott), Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas, 1995. [Winner of Richard E. Neustadt Award for Best Book on the U.S. Presidency published in 1995, American Political Science Association Presidency Research Group, August 1996; named “An Outstanding Academic Book, 1996,” Choice]

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.

“Representation in and by the White House,” in The Gendered Executive: A Comparative Analysis of Presidents, Prime Ministers, and Chief Executives edited by Janet Martin and MaryAnne Borrelli (Temple University, 2016)

Journal Articles

“White House Evolution and Institutionalization: The Office of the Chief of Staff” (with David Cohen and Charles E. Walcott), Presidential Studies Quarterly 45 (March 2016): 4-29.

“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.

“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.

“Does Where You Stand Depend on Where You Sit? Careerists’ Attitudes toward Political Appointees under Reagan” (with Robert Maranto), American Review of Politics 31 (Summer 2010): 91-112. 

  • Report No. 23, “Office of the Staff Secretary” (with Kathryn Dunn Tenpas), White House Transition Project, Institutional Memory Series, 2000, 2008, 2012, 2017 [Moody Foundation; Baker Institute for Public Policy, Rice University]
  • Report No. 29, “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 [Moody Foundation; Baker Institute for Public Policy, Rice University]

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