Dr. Kent E. Portney, professor, came to the Bush School’s Department of Public Service and Administration in 2014. He was appointed director of the Institute for Science, Technology and Public Policy in September 2016 after serving two years as a Senior Fellow in the Institute. In 2018 he was named the Bob Bullock Chair in Government and Public Policy. He was on the Tufts University faculty since 1979 and served as department chair in political science and directed the Graduate Program in Public Policy and Citizen Participation. Most recently, he was director of the Water and Research Program at the Center for International Environment and Resource Policy (CIERP) at Tufts’ Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. He received his Ph.D. in political science from Florida State University, his master’s from the University of Connecticut, and his bachelor’s from Rutgers University, where his studies focused on public administration and public policy.
Dr. Portney’s areas of expertise include environmental policy, urban sustainability, urban politics, economic inequality, and policy analysis. He has authored or co-authored nine books on such topics as economic and environmental development, citizen participation, and teaching critical reasoning in the social sciences; and he has written numerous journal articles on urban sustainability, urban politics, and the local nonprofit sector. His book The Rebirth of Urban Democracy earned him two awards from the American Political Science Association. He has been awarded numerous grants from the Ford Foundation, the National Science Foundation, the Spencer Foundation, and the Polaroid Foundation. He is frequently invited to conduct media interviews, present at conferences and symposiums, and has taught graduate courses on the political behavior of young people, public opinion and survey research, water policy and economics, the politics of environmental policy in the US, and the politics of sustainable cities.