Professor, Walter F. and Joan Mondale Chair for Political Studies, Director
Lawrence Jacobs is the Walter F. and Joan Mondale Chair for Political Studies and director of the Center for the Study of Politics and Governance at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs. He also holds an appointment in the University of Minnesota’s Department of Political Science. Dr. Jacobs’ most recent books are Health Care Reform and American Politics (with Theda Skocpol, Oxford University Press, 2010) and Talking Together: Public Deliberation and Political Participation in America (with Fay Lomax Cook and Michael X. Delli Carpini, University of Chicago Press, 2009). His research has been published and discussed in a number of mass media outlets including the BBC, National Public Radio, Minnesota Public Radio, network and cable news outlets, and national newspapers and journals such as the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, the New Republic, Congressional Quarterly, and the National Journal. He has made regular presentations at the National Press Club and is a political analyst for the CBS affiliate in Minnesota, WCCO.
Phone: (612) 625-9116
Doug Chapin is working to develop and expand CSPG's Election Academy by creating projects and programs to deliver high-quality research and learning opportunities to the election administrators of today - and tomorrow. This will include courses, seminars and other materials in many different aspects of election administration and will be aimed at all different facets of the election community. The Project is online at http://blog.lib.umn.edu/cspg/peea/. Chapin comes to the Humphrey School after 10 years at The Pew Charitable Trusts, where he served as director of Election Initiatives for the Pew Center on the States. Under his leadership, Pew’s elections team successfully lobbied for enactment of military and overseas voting reform in Congress and state legislatures; enlisted dozens of states and technology partners like Google, Microsoft, and Facebook to provide official voting information online and via mobile technology; and worked with election officials, academics, and technical experts to design and implement efforts to upgrade the nation’s voter registration systems. Prior to serving at Pew, Chapin was an attorney in private practice specializing in election and ethics law. He served as elections counsel to the Democrats on the U.S. Senate Rules Committee from 1997 to 2000, where he focused on federal election legislation and participated in the review of the disputed 1996 Senate election in Louisiana. He holds a law degree from Georgetown University, a master of public administration degree from Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, and an A.B. in politics from Princeton University.
Associate Program Director
Phone: (612) 625-2530
Lea Chittenden is the associate program director at the Center for the Study of Politics and Governance. She has been with the Center since the fall of 2006. Lea is responsible for the Center's fiscal and grant management, Center operations, event oversight, works on the Center's Election Academy program, and other special projects. Before joining the Center, Lea worked on various political campaigns and participated in a work abroad program in Ediburgh, Scotland. Lea graduated with college and major honors from the University of California, Santa Cruz with a bachelor of arts in history degree. While at UC-Santa Cruz, Lea spent a year studying abroad in Sevilla, Spain.
Phone: (612) 625-8330
is the assistant director for the Center for the Study of Politics and Governance. She has been with the Center since the fall of 2007, with primary responsibility for the Policy Fellows program, the Center’s annual legislative conference, and fundraising and development. Kate has a master’s degree in public administration with an emphasis in nonprofit management, and also has a graduate degree and six years of experience in college student services, mainly at Creighton University. Kate serves on the board of Community Shares Minnesota and plays the bassoon in a trio at the MacPhail Center for Music. She was a 2010-2011 participant in the Leadership Twin Cities program through the Minneapolis Regional Chamber of Commerce.
Phone: (612) 362-0752
Eric Ostermeier (Ph.D., University of Minnesota, Department of Political Science, 2006; J.D., The University of Michigan Law School, 1995) has been a research associate at the Center since 2006. Dr. Ostermeier authors and runs the Center’s non-partisan political news site, Smart Politics. His research and reporting is featured and cited several hundred times each year in national and local broadcast, print, and digital news outlets such as Congressional Quarterly, National Journal, NBC News, POLITICO, Time, and The Washington Post.
Phone: (612) 625-5340
Phoebe Tollefson is the newest staff member at the Center. As the office assistant, her responsibilities include events planning, support for the Policy Fellows program, and office communications. Phoebe graduated cum laude from Willamette University in 2011, with a political science major and Spanish minor. While in Willamette, she ran varsity track and cross country, studied abroad in Ecuador, and served as a legislative aide in the Oregon State Senate. Before coming to the Center, Phoebe served in AmeriCorps, teaching basic computer skills to adults.
Phone: (612) 625-4803
Timothy Callaghan is a research assistant for the Center for the Study of Politics and Governance. He has been with the Center since the summer of 2011. Tim is responsible for data collection and management for Dr. Jacobs' work related to state level implementation of the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Tim is also a Ph.D. student in the University of Minnesota’s Department of Political Science, studying American Politics. He has a bachelor of science in biological sciences and a bachelor of arts in political science, both from the University of Connecticut.
Pa Thao is the Administrative Fellow for the Center of Politics and Governance. She has been with the Center since August 2012. Pa is currently enrolled in the Master of Public Policy program here at the Humphrey School. Her interests are in Education Policy and Leadership and Non-Profit Management. Pa received her Bachelor of Individualized Studies degree in Asian American Studies, Communication Studies, and Family Social Science from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities in 2011. While at UMTC, she was a College of Liberal Arts Student Ambassador and volunteered with local organizations. She spent May 2011 abroad, studying leadership and social change in Northern Ireland. Prior to joining the Center, Pa served for one year with the Minnesota Reading Corps as a Kindergarten-Focused Literacy Tutor in the Saint Paul Public School District.
Contact the Center
Center for the Study of Politics and Governance
Humphrey School of Public Affairs
130 Humphrey Center
301 19th Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55455
Fax: (612) 624-0068