John Hudak is deputy director of the Center for Effective Public Management and a senior fellow in Governance Studies and a senior adviser at Freedman and Koski, Inc. His research examines questions of presidential power in the contexts of administration, personnel, and public policy. Additionally, he focuses on campaigns and elections, legislative-executive interaction, and state and federal marijuana policy.
John’s 2016 book, “Marijuana: A Short History,” offers a unique, up-to-date profile of how cannabis emerged from the shadows of counterculture and illegality to become a serious, even mainstream, public policy issue and source of legal revenue for both businesses and governments. In it, he describes why attitudes and policy have changed, and what those changes mean for marijuana’s future place in society.
His 2014 “Presidential Pork: White House Influence Over the Distribution of Federal Grants” demonstrates that pork-barrel politics occurs beyond the halls of Congress. Presidents capitalize on their discretionary funding authority to target federal dollars to swing states in advance of presidential elections. His other work explores how agency staffing, expertise, and institutional structure facilitate or hinder presidential power and influence. This research explores the balance between political control and bureaucratic expertise in the delivery of public policy.
John’s work has been recognized for its quality and contribution by the Midwest Political Science Association and the American Political Science Association’s Presidency Research Group. His work has been supported by institutions including the National Science Foundation.
Before joining Brookings, John served as the program director and as a graduate fellow at the Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions. He holds a B.A. in political science and economics from the University of Connecticut and an M.A. and Ph.D. in political science from Vanderbilt University.