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Penn State Penn State: College of the Liberal Arts

School of Public Policy

School ofPublic Policy

Christopher Witko

Christopher Witko

Professor of Public Policy and Political Science

325 Pond Lab University Park, PA 16802

Phone: (814) 865-3747

Curriculum Vitae:

Christopher Witko


Christopher Witko is a professor of public policy and political science. His primary research focuses on how public policies shape and respond to economic outcomes like unemployment and inequality and the role of the public and organized interests in developing public policy. Witko’s most recent book, Hijacking the Agenda: Economic Power and Political Influence, was released in the summer of 2021 and was awarded the 2022 Gladys M. Kammerer Award from the American Political Science Association. The New Economic Populism: How States Respond to Economic Inequality won the State Politics and Policy Section’s Virginia Gray best book award in 2018. He has been part of research teams funded by the Russell Sage Foundation and the Norwegian Research Council and has taught in Spain and Korea.

From 2018-2022, Chris Witko helped establish Penn State’s School of Public Policy as the associate director.

He holds a Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, an M.A. from SUNY Albany, and a B.A. from SUNY Plattsburgh. Prior to earning his Ph.D. and becoming a faculty member, Witko worked as a transportation analyst in the New York State Senate and as a front-line bureaucrat implementing youth job and training programs for the Suffolk County (N.Y.) Department of Labor. From 2013 to 2018, he served as the director of the MPA program at the University of South Carolina. He has also served on the faculty at Saint Louis University and California University, Sacramento.


Research Papers:

Journal of European Public Policy

Elin Haugsgjerd Allern, Heike Klüver, David Marshall, Simon Otjes, Anne Rasmussen & Christopher Witko

Perspectives on Politics, Volume: 18, Issue: 3, Published: September 1, 2020

Brad Epperly, Christopher Witko, Ryan Strickler, & Paul White

Journal of Behavioral Public Administration, Volume: 3, Issue: 1, Published: May 13, 2020

Michael J. Nelson & Christopher Witko

Review of Policy Research (RPR), Volume: 38, Issue: 2, Published: March 2021

Tobias Heinrich & Christopher Witko

Faculty Books:

The New Economic Populism

The New Economic Populism: How States Respond to Economic Inequality

Christopher Witko and William W. Franko
Book Cover

Hijacking the Agenda: Economic Power and Political Influence

Christopher Witko, Jana Morgan, Nathan J. Kelly, Peter K. Enns