Heath Brown

Associate Professor of Public Policy, CUNY John Jay College of Criminal Justice

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About Heath

Brown’s focus is on interest group politics, nonprofit organizations, and public policy. He has been published on presidential transitions, education policy, and increasingly, in the area of immigration. Brown is particularly interested in how nonprofit organizations advocate and lobby in the policy process, as well as in the ways in which transitions between regimes, at the national, state, and local levels, involve the public in personnel and policy decision-making. In addition to his academic work, Brown has worked at the US Congressional Budget Office as a Research Fellow, at the American Bus Association as a Policy Assistant, and at the Council of Graduate Schools as Research and Policy Director. In addition to his research, Brown is Reviews Editor for Interest Groups & Advocacy and editor of 3Streams. He is also an expert contributor to The Hill as well as to The Atlantic, The 74, and the American Prospect.


How Nonprofits Can Boost Immigrant Voter Turnout

No Jargon Podcast

In the News

"Steve Bannon Hopes Homeschooling Moms Will Be His New Shock Troops," Heath Brown, Opinion, The Daily Beast, September 14, 2021.
Heath Brown's research on most of the earliest homeschooling textbooks being written from a Christian perspective, and that some were racist discussed by Casey Parks, "The Rise of Black Homeschooling," The New Yorker, June 14, 2021.
"Don’t Wait to Start the Transition," Heath Brown, Opinion, The Hill, November 5, 2020.
"How Russia Exploited Trump's Messy Presidential Transition," Heath Brown, The Hill, April 23, 2019.
Heath Brown's research on Trump's immigration policy discussed by Abigail Abrams, "Trump Is Again Considering Dramatic Action on Immigration. Here's Why," TIME Magazine, April 9, 2019.
"The Transparent Transition That Was Not to Be," Heath Brown, Demos, March 24, 2017.
"Why Lobbyists Care So Much about Cabinet Hearings," Heath Brown, The Hill, January 10, 2017.
"Nonprofits May Hold Key to Immigrant Turnout in 2016," Heath Brown, The American Prospect, September 27, 2016.
"What We Can Learn about Immigration from One Democratic Convention Speaker," Heath Brown, Immigration, The Hill, July 25, 2016.
"Presidential Transition Demands Transparency," Heath Brown, The American Prospect, April 29, 2016.
"Why the Trump Presidential Transition Has Just Begun," Heath Brown, The Hill, April 13, 2016.
"Are Trump and Sanders Rewriting the Rules on Money in Politics?," Heath Brown, The Conversation, April 4, 2016.
"Can We Get Independent Voters to Donate?," Heath Brown, The Hill, February 18, 2016.
"On 40th Anniversary of Buckey v. Valeo, Political Consulting Booms," Heath Brown, The Hill, January 27, 2016.
Heath Brown quoted by Rich Lord, "Billionaire Koch Brothers Struggle to Rein in GOP" Chicago Tribune, September 16, 2015.
"Clinton's Campaign Finance Proposal Weak on Details," Heath Brown, The Hill, September 16, 2015.
"How the Tea Party Will Shape Republican Debates," Heath Brown, The Hill, August 4, 2015.
"Jeb Bush Should Reform the Lobbying of His Campaign First," Heath Brown, The Hill, July 22, 2015.
"How Influential is Business in Washington?," Heath Brown, The Hill, June 3, 2015.
"New York at Bargain Basement Prices," Heath Brown, Gotham Gazette, November 6, 2014.
"What Did $4 Billion Buy?," Heath Brown, The Hill, November 6, 2014.
"Will Cantor Register as a Lobbyist?," Heath Brown, The Hill, September 5, 2014.
"Technology Key to Improving NJ Elections," Heath Brown (with Avi Green), New Jersey Star Ledger, April 21, 2014.
"Campaign Spending Disclosures Make for Better Voters," Heath Brown, New Jersey Star Ledger, March 26, 2014.
"Five Lessons from Bridgegate," Heath Brown, The Star Ledger, January 5, 2014.
Guest to discuss political activity and non-profits on WAMC's Academic Minute, Heath Brown, April 30, 2013.
"Fulfill the Promise of a Transparent Transition," Heath Brown, Huffington Post, November 7, 2012.
"If Romney Wins, be Wary of Lobbyists," Heath Brown, The Star Ledger, November 2, 2012.
"The Virtues of Planning a Transition Early," Heath Brown, The Hill Blog, April 11, 2012.
Regular contributions by Heath Brown to New Books in Political Science.


The Tea Party Divided (Praeger Press, 2015).
Focuses on understanding the diversity within the party, challenging the notion that the Tea Party is a homogeneous political movement defined mainly by its ultra-conservatism, regionalism, and rigid political orthodoxy.
"Assessing the Voice of Immigrant-Serving Nonprofits in the 2012 Election" Nonprofit Quarterly (2013).
Finds that 60% of immigrant-serving nonprofit were inactive in 2012, but 40% were involved in registering, educating, and mobilizing immigrant voters.
"Immigrant-Serving Nonprofits and Philanthropic Foundations" Nonprofit Policy Forum (2013).
Argues that the rights have immigrants have been at the center of a complex financial push-and-pull from the Left and the Right. At the same time millions of dollars have been granted by major foundations to nonprofits advocating for immigrants, a different set of foundations have pushed for much tighter and restrictive immigration policies.
Lobbying the New President: Interests in Transition (Routledge, 2012).
Studies the role interest groups have played during past presidential transitions with a particular interest in the 2008 transition of Barack Obama. Groups that were closely aligned with the incoming administration were more active than those hostile to the new administration.
"Interest Groups and Presidential Transitions" Congress and the Presidency 38, no. 2 (2012): 152-170.
Studies the role interest groups have played during past presidential transitions with a particular interest in the 2008 transition of Barack Obama. Certain organizations receive favorable treatment during the transition period, in part because of their close affiliation with the campaign and candidates.
"Shopping in the Political Arena: Strategic State and Local Venue Selection by Advocates" (with Tom Holyoke and Jeffrey Henig). State and Local Government Review 44, no. 1 (2012): 1-13.
Examines how charter schools in the US advocate for students with state officials versus local officials. Applies the theory of venue shopping to school reform.