Heath A. 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

Opinion: "The Only Kept Secret in Washington," Heath A. Brown, Washington Monthly, March 4, 2024.
Opinion: "Lessons From the 2020 Presidential Transition," Heath A. Brown, The Brookings Institution, December 14, 2023.
Opinion: "The Next Presidential Transition Starts Right Now," Heath A. Brown, The Hill, November 1, 2023.
Opinion: "Steve Bannon Hopes Homeschooling Moms Will Be His New Shock Troops," Heath A. Brown, The Daily Beast, September 14, 2021.
Research discussed by Casey Parks, in "The Rise of Black Homeschooling," The New Yorker, June 14, 2021.
Opinion: "Trump Transition Delay Hurts Progressives Trying to Join the Biden Administration," Heath A. Brown, Think, November 19, 2020.
Opinion: "Don’t Wait to Start the Transition," Heath A. Brown, The Hill, November 5, 2020.
Opinion: "How Russia Exploited Trump's Messy Presidential Transition," Heath A. Brown, The Hill, April 23, 2019.
Research discussed by Abigail Abrams, in "Trump Is Again Considering Dramatic Action on Immigration. Here's Why," TIME Magazine, April 9, 2019.
Opinion: "The Transparent Transition That Was Not to Be," Heath A. Brown, Demos, March 24, 2017.
Opinion: "Why Lobbyists Care So Much about Cabinet Hearings," Heath A. Brown, The Hill, January 10, 2017.
Opinion: "New State Laws Discourage Registering Immigrants. How Will That Affect the Latino Vote?," Heath A. Brown, The Washington Post, October 10, 2016.
Opinion: "Nonprofits May Hold Key to Immigrant Turnout in 2016," Heath A. Brown, The American Prospect, September 27, 2016.
Opinion: "What We Can Learn about Immigration from One Democratic Convention Speaker," Heath A. Brown, The Hill, July 25, 2016.
Opinion: "Presidential Transition Demands Transparency," Heath A. Brown, The American Prospect, April 29, 2016.
Opinion: "Why the Trump Presidential Transition Has Just Begun," Heath A. Brown, The Hill, April 13, 2016.
Opinion: "Are Trump and Sanders Rewriting the Rules on Money in Politics?," Heath A. Brown, The Conversation, April 4, 2016.
Opinion: "Can We Get Independent Voters to Donate?," Heath A. Brown, The Hill, February 18, 2016.
Opinion: "On 40th Anniversary of Buckey v. Valeo, Political Consulting Booms," Heath A. Brown, The Hill, January 27, 2016.
Opinion: "Clinton's Campaign Finance Proposal Weak on Details," Heath A. Brown, The Hill, September 16, 2015.
Quoted by Rich Lord in "Billionaire Koch Brothers Struggle to Rein in GOP," Chicago Tribune, September 16, 2015.
Opinion: "How the Tea Party Will Shape Republican Debates," Heath A. Brown, The Hill, August 4, 2015.
Opinion: "Jeb Bush Should Reform the Lobbying of His Campaign First," Heath A. Brown, The Hill, July 22, 2015.
Opinion: "How Influential is Business in Washington?," Heath A. Brown, The Hill, June 3, 2015.
Opinion: "New York at Bargain Basement Prices," Heath A. Brown, Gotham Gazette, November 6, 2014.
Opinion: "What Did $4 Billion Buy?," Heath A. Brown, The Hill, November 6, 2014.
Opinion: "Will Cantor Register as a Lobbyist?," Heath A. Brown, The Hill, September 5, 2014.
Opinion: "Technology Key to Improving NJ Elections," Heath A. Brown (with Avi Green), New Jersey Star Ledger, April 21, 2014.
Opinion: "Campaign Spending Disclosures Make for Better Voters," Heath A. Brown, New Jersey Star Ledger, March 26, 2014.
Opinion: "Five Lessons from Bridgegate," Heath A. Brown, The Star Ledger, January 5, 2014.
Guest on WAMC's Academic Minute, April 30, 2013.
Opinion: "Fulfill the Promise of a Transparent Transition," Heath A. Brown, Huffington Post, November 7, 2012.
Opinion: "If Romney Wins, be Wary of Lobbyists," Heath A. Brown, The Star Ledger, November 2, 2012.
Opinion: "The Virtues of Planning a Transition Early," Heath A. Brown, The Hill Blog, April 11, 2012.
Regular contributions by Heath A. 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.

"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.
"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.
"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.