Experts

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 Biden White House had a “significant uptick” in departures among its “A team” in its second year, after a relatively stable first year, according to a new analysis. The study, published on the two-year anniversary of President Biden’s inauguration by Kathryn Dunn Tenpas, nonresident senior fellow for governance studies at the Brookings Institution, defines the “A team” as the 66 senior executive positions in the Executive Office of the President, which are all highly influential and have important relationships with other government officials, stakeholders and the media.
Kathryn Dunn Tenpas Government Executive
"Turnover is going to be high in year three," Kathryn Dunn Tenpas, who authored the Brookings report, tells Axios.
Kathryn Dunn Tenpas Axios
The absence of turnover among the Biden appointees — whose jobs include stopping crime, keeping food safe and guarding against attack — is a rarity. Since Ronald Reagan’s presidency in the 1980s, only Barack Obama had no one from the Cabinet step down by the midpoint of his first term, said Kathryn Dunn Tenpas, a senior fellow at the Miller Center, a think tank on the presidency at the University of Virginia.
Kathryn Dunn Tenpas NBC News
Kathryn Dunn Tenpas, a presidential scholar at the Brookings Institution, told The Times that finding a suitable replacement for Klain "will not be easy and may well be impossible" due to his skill set and track record. "They are headed into a re-election campaign that also increases Ron's value in that he has campaign experience and political skills," Tenpas said. "In addition, the chief of staff's Capitol Hill experience could come in handy as they confront divided government."
Kathryn Dunn Tenpas Newsweek
“He is a truly unique chief of staff,” said Kathryn Dunn Tenpas, a presidential scholar at the Brookings Institution who studies administration personnel. Mr. Klain’s broad experience in multiple administrations as well as on Capitol Hill, his reputation for managing tough political challenges and his long history with Mr. Biden made him the most important figure in the White House besides the president.
Kathryn Dunn Tenpas The New York Times
“It’s surprising because with each passing administration there’s heightened media scrutiny and opportunities for personal scandals” that could lead to cabinet resignations, said Kathryn Dunn Tenpas, a senior fellow at Brookings who studies the White House. “But it has been a pretty low-key cabinet.”
Kathryn Dunn Tenpas The Wall Street Journal