Professor Kent Portney has been named to the Bob Bullock Chair of Public Policy and Finance at the Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University.
Portney came to the Bush School in 2014 and was named director of the Institute for Science, Technology and Public Policy in 2016. As a member of the Tufts University faculty from 1979 to 2014, Portney 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 PhD 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.
Portney has broad experience and expertise in environmental policy, urban sustainability, urban politics, economic inequality, and policy analysis. He has authored or coauthored nine books on such topics as economic and environmental development, citizen participation, and teaching critical reasoning in the social sciences. He has written extensively on urban sustainability, urban politics, and the nonprofit sector. His book The Rebirth of Urban Democracy earned him two awards from the American Political Science Association.
In announcing the appointment, Bush School Dean Mark Welsh noted that Portney’s wide-ranging experience in public policy mirrors the career of the chair’s namesake, Bob Bullock, the formidable lieutenant governor of Texas.
“Governor Bullock was a devoted public servant, committed to developing and implementing policies that improved Texas’s educational system and state government as well as the environment. Dr. Portney’s impressive record of scholarship in all areas of public policy is a fitting continuation of Gov. Bullock’s commitment to the state of Texas,” Welsh said.