Kathryn Dunn Tenpas

Fast Facts

  • Nonresident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution
  • Senior research director, White House Transition Project
  • Fellow, Center for Presidential Transition at the Partnership for Public Service
  • Secretary, Governance Institute

Areas Of Expertise

  • The First Year
  • Governance
  • Elections
  • Leadership
  • Politics
  • The Presidency

Kathryn Dunn Tenpas is a nonresident senior fellow with Governance Studies at the Brookings Institution, senior research director for the White House Transition Project, a fellow with the Center for Presidential Transition at the Partnership for Public Service, and secretary of the Governance Institute.

Tenpas is a scholar of the American presidency focusing on White House staffing, presidential transitions, and the intersection of politics and policy within the presidency (e.g., presidential reelection campaigns, trends in presidential travel, and polling). She has authored the book Presidents as Candidates: Inside the White House for the Presidential Campaign and published more than 50 articles, book chapters, and papers on these topics.

Tenpas earned her BA degree from Georgetown University and her MA and PhD degrees from the University of Virginia.

Kathryn Dunn Tenpas News Feed

The staff turnover in Biden's first year marked "one of the lowest of the past six administrations," wrote Kathryn Dunn Tenpas, a non-resident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution who tracks the issue, in an analysis of Biden's first year.
Kathryn Dunn Tenpas CNN
That's Katie Dunn Tenpas, who studies presidential personnel at the University of Virginia's Miller Center. "I think just generally in the aftermath of the Trump administration, this was an important feature of the new Biden administration. And you need to remain consistent."
Kathryn Dunn Tenpas NPR All Things Considered
Kathryn Dunn Tenpas, a nonresident senior fellow with Governance Studies at the Brookings Institution, published an analysis on Thursday––the one year anniversary of President Biden’s Inauguration––about turnover in the administration in its first year. This was a massive issue under the previous administration.
Kathryn Dunn Tenpas Government Executive
Over the course of its first year, President Biden’s team faced several well-documented challenges—but staffing the White House was not one of them. Although he had a truncated transition due to the General Services Administration’s unwillingness to “ascertain” that Joe Biden had won the election, a record breaking 1,136 appointees were sworn in on Inauguration Day. This study focuses primarily, but not exclusively, on turnover in the president’s “A-Team,” defined as senior executive-office positions that do not require Senate confirmation.
Kathryn Dunn Tenpas Brookings
Scholar Kathryn Dunn Tenpas, who authored the Brookings report, tells Axios the findings reflect "a core stability within the administration" and "not a lot of drama. They're trying to sort of recoup where we were before the Trump administration."
Kathryn Dunn Tenpas Axios
The Miller Center’s The First Year: POTUS 2017 project analyzed past presidential first years and has been able to offer careful, historical reflection to provide context for contemporary governance challenges. Presidential first years are the time when an administration assembles its team, establishes its processes for governing, identifies its priorities, and also weathers a series of crises when the world tests a new commander in chief.
Kathryn Dunn Tenpas Miller Center Presents