I am a professor of public policy in the School of Public and International Affairs at North Carolina State University. I am also currently the Associate Dean for Research and Engagement in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences.
I am a native of Seattle, and lived there until I was 9, whereupon my dad took a job with the State of Alaska, as the lead electrical engineer for the state-owned airports; that is, all the far-flung airports except for Anchorage and Fairbanks.
I left Anchorage to earn my B.A. in Political Science (Oregon), and then went to New Jersey to earn my M.A. in Political Science through the Eagleton Institute of Politics at Rutgers University. I worked for five years after earning the M.A., for the New Jersey Department of Transportation, then for Governor Thomas Kean for one year, then back to the D.O.T. for another two years.
By the late 1980s, I had to make a choice about my career: remain in the public sector, or pursue an academic career. My choice made, I moved back to Seattle in 1990 to start my doctoral studies under Peter May at the University of Washington.
Upon graduation from the UW in 1995 I took a position in the Nelson A. Rockefeller College of Public Affairs at the University at Albany, State University of New York. After 12 years in Albany, I was fortunate to be appointed as the William T. Kretzer professor of public policy at NC State, which I was for ten years. In 2011, I became Associate Dean.
I live in Cary, NC, with my wife, Molly Eness, two fantastic kids, Oskar and Isaak, and, as of the moment, one dog and four and a half cats (the half cat lets us feed him, but not pet him!).